K'taka to make efforts to overcome power shortage: Minister

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Mysore, June 29 (UNI) Karnataka Energy Ministr K S Eshwarappa today said the government would make efforts to generate an additional 1,300 MW to tide over shortage and ensure proper power supply to rural and urban areas.

Inaugurating the 34th Karnataka Electricity Engineers Association Conference, near here, he said presently power generation stood at 5,500 MW with another 2,500 MW being purchased from outside.

In another 15 days, the power plant at Bellary would start generating 500 MW. About 250 MW of power could be produced from the Varaha Project and by reducing power thefts, the balance requirement could be managed.

The government had decided to reduce by at least five per cent the transmission loss currently estimated at 32 per cent.

On free power supply to irrigation pumpsets of farmers, the Minister said the BJP Government had made the promise in its manifesto and would honour it. This would cost the government nearly Rs 850 crore.

Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa would be participating in a meeting at Bangalore on July one in this connection and the final decision on providing free power to farmers would be taken in the meeting and announced in the State Budget on July 17.

He sought the cooperation from engineering staff of the five power supply companies in the state in making Karnataka a powercut free state.

Referring to the controversial Chamalapura Thermal Power Project expected to come up near the city on Mysore-H D Kote Road, he said there was lot of opposition and the new government would not take any hasty decision.

The government would first seek public opinion of at least 75 per cent of the residents on this project.

There was no question of clearing the project at present and the tender process would be stopped immediately.

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