Karnataka has been pleading for a Central power station No benefit from the rural electrification programme
BANGALORE: Karnataka's power sector is disappointed with the Union Budget presented by the Union Finance Minister P. Chidambaram on Wednesday as none of the former's expectations have been fulfilled.
The power-starved State is yet to get any Central power generating station barring the Kaiga nuclear generating station. Karnataka has been making repeated requests to the Union Government to set up a Central generating station, especially that of a National Thermal Power Corporation (NTPC), in the State. But its request has been ignored in this Budget also. However, the State has decided to pursue the matter again.
The Budget has proposed to restructure the Accelerated Power Development and Reforms Project (APDRP), which aims at reducing energy losses, to cover all the district headquarters and towns with a population of more than 50,000. But according to sources in Karnataka Power Transmission Corporation Limited, this proposal has disappointed Karnataka because the State has already covered all its urban centres with a population of more than 50,000 under this project.
In fact, the State has been requesting the Union Government to allow it to extend the project to places with less than 50,000 people so that power reforms could be taken to the grassroots.
The State is not expected to benefit much from the proposal to increase the allocation under the Rajiv Gandhi Rural Electrification Programme. This is because most of the areas of the State have been covered under the scheme, the sources said.
However, the State has decided to examine the possibility of seeking a power share from any of the proposed additional Ultra Mega Power Projects to be set up in different States.