Central pool power at competitive rate

Union Minister of State for Power Jyotiraditya Scindia on Tuesday assured Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy that the Union government will allot 200 MW of power from the Central pool to the State at a competitive rate to tide over the power crisis faced by it.

The power could be allotted from the Rajiv Gandhi Combined Cycle Power Plant at Kayamkulam which is run by the NTPC. The plant is located at Choolatheruvu.

Mr. Chandy, leading a delegation of State Ministers, met Mr. Scindia and made a request in this regard.

Surface Transport Minister C.P. Joshi too agreed to the State’s request for constructing a bypass on the Thiruvananthapuram-Kozhikode National Highway-17 at Kozhikode.

Mr. Chandy sought construction of the Thalassery-Mahe bypass on NH-17, Kollam and Alappuzha bypass, an elevated highway, Thiruvananthapuram bypass, and the Centre’s nod for constructing the Kochi Metro Rail along NH-544.

Finance Minister P. Chidambaram promised to consider the State’s request to push for a World Bank loan for the Kerala State Transport Project (KSTP) and viability gap funding.

Mr. Chandy later met Defence Minister A.K. Antony and discussed the issue of early release of abducted Keralites by Somali pirates. He also took up the issues relating to setting up of the National Institute for Research and Development in Defence Shipbuilding, allotment of land for the air force in Thiruvananthapuram, and allocation of natural gas to Kerala for transport, domestic fuel, and power sectors.

The high-level delegation called on Union Ministers Anand Sharma (Commerce), G.K. Vasan (Shipping), Shriprakash Jaiswal (Coal), Pawan Kumar Bansal (Railways), and Chandresh Kumari Katoch (Culture), among others.

Central aid for coconut farmers, subsidy for FACT operation on imported LNG, removal of duty cap on import of rubber, classical language status for Malayalam, setting up of a rail coach factory at Palakkad, wagon factory at Alappuzha, construction of the Angamaly-Sabari railway line, assistance for the Cochin Port Trust, incentive for coastal shipping, and Vizhinjam port development were among the subjects discussed.

The Kerala Ministers in the delegation included Thiruvanchoor Radhakrishnan, Aryadan Mohammed, K.P. Mohanan, Anoop Jacob, K.C. Joseph, Adoor Prakash, and V.S. Sivakumar.

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