The challenges facing the state are many. It isn’t just the manifesto promises: the one kg rice at Rs 1 with a maximum of 30 kg to BPL card holders, interest-free loans to farmers, free laptops to pre-university students, an eight-lane expressway between Bidar in the north to Chamarajanagar in the south to promote industrial development; connectivity with major ports and airports, industrial townships; promotion of garments, textiles, engineering, automobile industries and creation of five million jobs… It is also the slowdown in the state’s agricultural growth and the huge power deficit.
During its tenure, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) government took one laudable step: it set up a large number of thermal power projects in the state. These, in Raichur, Bellary and elsewhere, which have now also got environmental clearances, will add as much as 5,000 Mw to the state kitty, making it power surplus once they are operational. This is where the problem lies. There is no coal linkage. The Yermarus thermal power plant, for instance, which still needs coal linkage will alone add 1,600 Mw. The upside is that for the first time in recent history, the same party that’s in power in Bangalore will be in power in New Delhi. So, for at least one year, the state would ask and the Centre would give. Read More