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Centre biased in coal block allocation: CM

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday accused the Union government of bias in allotment of coal blocks to states and said that therefore, Karnataka is opting for renewable energy instead of thermal power projects which would force the state to be at the mercy of the Centre.

Published: 29th October 2017 02:02 AM  |   Last Updated: 29th October 2017 08:13 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday accused the Union government of bias in allotment of coal blocks to states and said that therefore, Karnataka is opting for renewable energy instead of thermal power projects which would force the state to be at the mercy of the Centre.

Speaking at a function organised by the Energy Department at Palace Grounds to present the ‘Power Awards,’ on Saturday evening, Siddaramaiah said the Centre had discriminated between BJP-ruled and non-BJP ruled states in in allotment of coal blocks, creating a situation where states should be at the mercy of the Centre for coal.

As a first step towards moving to renewable energy, the world’s largest solar park, on 13,000 acres, is being set up in Pavagada. This has helped many farmers as they are getting `21,000 per acre per year for leasing their land for the project. The government is also providing free power worth `9,000 crore to the farming community, he said.

The CM also said that the state authorities have met the Union government recently to urge for allocation of coal blocks and supply of coal so as to ensure uninterrupted power supply, but it has not materialised till today. If the Centre continues with this, the GDP will come down, he warned. Siddaramaiah said the state government created 1.86 lakh job opportunities in major industries and 12 lakh in micro, small and medium enterprises. As many as six lakh youths are being trained for skill and unskilled work required for the industry by the Skills Development Department. This is proof of the government addressing concerns over unemployement in state, he said.

Costly event to showcase programmes

The event became a stage for showcasing the programmes of the Energy Department, ahead of assembly elections. A booklet of the works taken up by the department in the last four-and-half years was released by the CM on the occassion. Enery Minister D K Shivakumar said the invitation by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in Bengaluru for outsiders to invest in Karnataka is itself testimony to the good governance of the Congress government in state.

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