Our Bureau

Mangalore, May 15

THE Member of Parliament from Mangalore, Mr Sadananda Gowda, has said that the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation's proposed investments in Dakshina Kannada district are essential for the development of Karnataka.

Addressing newspersons here on Sunday, he said that the ONGC wants to invest around Rs 21,000 crore in the State on various projects, including the establishment of a special economic zone in Mangalore.

The PSU wants to invest around Rs 7,475 crore on the establishment of a petrochemical and aromatic plant, Rs 8,594 crore on LNG-based 2000-MW power plant, Rs 3,590 crore on re-gasification plant, Rs 945 crore on Mangalore-Bangalore gas pipeline, and Rs 582 crore on the establishment of retail outlets of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd in the State.

The 2000-MW power plant can tackle most of the power requirements of the State.

However, the Union Petroleum Minister, Mr Mani Shankar Aiyar, wants to shift these projects to Tamil Nadu. He urged the Chief Minister, Mr Dharam Singh, to urge the Union Government not to shift these projects from the State.

Stating that ONGC and the Karnataka Government have signed a memorandum of understanding on the oil PSU's investments in the region, he said his party (BJP) would file public interest litigation, if these projects were shifted to Tamil Nadu.

Mr Gowda said that the State Government had promised to release Rs 10 crore to Central Arecanut and Cocoa Marketing and Processing Cooperative Ltd for purchasing arecanut under market intervention scheme. Till now, it has released Rs 4 crore of that amount. If there is a delay in the release of the remaining amount, it may lead to chaos in the arecanut market, he said.

Seeking the early completion of the work on Mangalore-Hassan railway line, he said this railway line is vital for the region's growth.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated May 16, 2005)
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