Special Correspondent

‘In four years, Karnataka will have surplus power’

GULBARGA: Karnataka started purchasing power from outside since Sunday to tide over the present shortage. Another tender is being floated for purchase of an additional 260 MW from States that have excess.

Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa, who holds the Energy portfolio, told presspersons here on Monday that the State was purchasing 260 MW of power from outside to overcome the present shortage. “We propose to float tenders to purchase another 260 MW to meet the power demand till the onset of the monsoon.”

“The power shortage is a “legacy” left behind by previous governments, and the BJP cannot be blamed for this. Earlier governments lacked vision to increase power production. We do not want to do the same mistake. Towards achieving energy self-sufficiency, several projects have been started by us,” he said.

The Chief Minister said tackling the power shortage was the priority of the Government. “We will ensure that the people are not put to hardship during summer time,” he added.

He said that in the past 19 months, the State Government had added 1,252 MW of power production to the existing output. Apart from this, it had finalised proposals to take up installation of the 4,000 MW thermal power plant in association with the National Thermal Power Corporation in Kudigi, among several others.

Within the next four years, Mr. Yeddyurappa said, Karnataka would be converted into a power surplus State and “this was a challenge accepted by the State Government”. At present, there was a 2,000 MW shortage of power, he added.

Later, the Chief Minister laid the foundation stone for a housing project for displaced families of Ganganagar slum in Gulbarga. As many as 92 houses will be constructed by Rotary Club, Infosys, and the Hyderabad Karnataka Education Society there. The Chief Minister felicitated representatives from these organisations on the occasion.

Mr. Yeddyurappa also inaugurated the new housing colony established in Biddapur near here. The colony has been built at a cost of Rs. 54 crore over 150 acres of land. As many as 313 houses of different dimensions have been constructed and 1,229 sites of different sizes have been formed there.

The Chief Minister named the colony after 12th century social reformer Akkamahadevi. Before leaving for Bangalore, he chaired a meeting of senior officials of Gulbarga and Bidar districts.