Today's Paper

Reliance seeks 25,000 acres of land

Special Correspondent

HYDERABAD: Reliance Industries Limited (RIL) on Thursday sought allotment of a massive extent of 25,000 acres of land near Shamshabad airport here for development of a special economic zone for petrochemicals in what appeared to be a quid pro quo for the State Government's demand.

The demand, articulated by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy at a meeting with RIL executives was that Reliance should fully meet the demands of Andhra Pradesh before supplying gas from its recent offshore find near Kakinada to other States.

RIL's counter offer caught the Government off guard. Sources said the Chief Minister could not respond straightaway without considering various implications of alienating such a large chunk of land to a single party. However, he is stated to have promised the RIL that he will "consider the plea".

Legislation passed by the Assembly in its just-concluded session allows any private party to develop an SEZ, claim subsidies and sell the developed plots to individual units which, however, are to be cleared through single-window facility.

The Chief Minister asked P. M. S. Prasad, president, Oil & Gas wing of RIL, to ensure gas supply for domestic, industrial and commercial use in the State by June 2008 after completing pipeline network. Official sources said he requested Reliance to supply LPG for domestic purpose at Rs. 240 a cylinder.

Mr. Prasad told the Chief Minister that sufficient gas was available in the Reliance wells, and that only surplus gas would be taken outside after meeting Andhra Pradesh needs. RIL was laying a 48-inch pipeline from Kakinada to Hyderabad which would be extended up to Jamnagar.

The trunk line would run for 565 km in the State, covering seven districts.

Gas available

Mr. Prasad said Reliance was interested in taking up city gas distribution projects by developing distribution network in districts and cities like Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Vijayawada, Kakinada, Guntur, Rajahmundry, Medak, Warangal and Nalgonda in the first phase. As part of the company's bio-diesel project, one lakh-tonne capacity would be created at Kakinada by 2011 and jatropha plantations raised by it.

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