Saturday, August 29, 2009


S Kushala | TNN

INFRASTRUCTURE ANALYSIS: Karnataka’s railway, road and energy sectors way behind neighbouring states
Where does
stand? Spread over 1.92 lakh sqkm with a population of 52.85 million, Karnataka stands among the top five industrial states. The state has 2,033 IT firms, 688 multinationals, 87 global Fortune 500 companies, 4 functional airports, 3,500 km of railway line, 2 ports and a steady GDP growth rate.
Bangalore: Karnataka has always boasted of a good rail network. But a recent analysis of infrastructure indices disagrees. The state is way behind neighbouring Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra and the railway sector needs to pump in not less than Rs 18,000 crore to hit the standard targets!
Among other sectors such as road, energy and transport, which are lagging, only airports have fared well. Of the 28 districts, four already have airports and seven are constructing them, apart from 11 airstrips being built.
The analysis was done by the infrastructure development department (IDD) to know the position of the state’s growth drivers and draw up projects. The exercise is a prelude to the Global Investors Meet (GIM) scheduled for January 2010, through which the government plans to sell projects to international firms for public-private partnership (PPP) ventures.
According to IDD principal secretary V Madhu, a masterplan is being prepared for all potential sectors that can attract private investments. “Nearly 150 detailed project reports are readied for the GIM.”
Investment requirement
The analysis looked into investment required to upgrade the overall economy. Calculated at 2006 prices, Rs 92,462 crore is needed in the 11th Five Year Plan (FYP), which is currently in action; Rs 1,86,275 crore in 12th FYP and Rs 3,15,657 crore in the 13th FYP. Every year, the required investment runs up to Rs 3,30,000 crore.
Why PPP?
According to officials involved in investment matters, no state can fund itself with such a huge requirement as Karnataka. Therefore, PPP is the preferred option in most developing countries. Officials revealed that embarking on PPP venture needs discipline and a non-interfering administration. The government’s part involves land acquisition, compensation, fixing land value, replacement value of building, resettlement and rehabilitation, clearances, dislocation allowance, etc.
Airport projects: Hassan, Bellary, Bijapur, Shimoga, Gulbarga High-speed rail link to Bengaluru International Airport 10,000 km of road projects by KRDCL Port at Tadri Devanahalli convention centre, logistics park, business park Mono Rail, food parks, tourism projects, Industrial Infrastructure: VADA at Bellary

Karnataka’s index is 16, which means the state has 16 km of railway line for every 1,000 sqkm as against the target index of 32. Tamil Nadu’s railway index is 32, Gujarat 38 and Maharastra 34. To upgrade railway infrastructure to the target index or reach Tamil Nadu’s standards, Karnataka needs to plough in Rs 18,000 crore immediately.

The current state road index is 107 km per sqkm and the target is 150 km, while Rs 1,25,000 crore is the required investment to reach the target level.

Karnataka’s annual per capita energy consumption is 700 units while the target is 1,400 units. Funds required to close the gap is Rs 80,000 crore.


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