Union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister M. Veerappa Moily said on Wednesday that if the Congress came to power in the State, it would set up a fast-track court to hear cases pertaining to the iron ore mining scam.
Mr. Moily told journalists here that the mining scam had cost the exchequer Rs. 50,000 crore.
The Bharatiya Janata Party, in its election manifesto in 2008, had promised to add 2,000 MW of power annually. The BJP government, however, failed to not only to generate the promised 10,000 MW of power in five years, but also to supply the power that was purchased from other States, he alleged.
Though the Centre was urging the Karnataka government to augment the State’s power capacity, it failed to implement the thermal power project at Kudgi in Bijapur district, he charged. The Centre had written to the State government on the setting up seven gas-based power projects in Karnataka. If implemented, this would help industrial growth in the State, Mr. Moily said.
The BJP government’s performance in the higher education sector had left a lot to be desired, the Union Minister said. The government had allowed many private universities to be set up in the State. Large-scale corruption in the sector would affect the quality of education. He alleged that the State government was planning to do away with the common entrance test for professional courses.
As many as 20 Ministers in the BJP government were facing corruption charges, Mr. Moily said. When the Congress was in power in the State in 2004, Karnataka was ranked third in terms of economic progress in the country, and now it was in the 12th place, he said.
If two or three gas-based power projects were taken up in the coastal districts, it would provide a solution to the power problem. These gas-based projects would not create environmental problems, he said. It would be better if a gas-based power project was set up at Niddodi in Dakshina Kannada district instead of a coal-based one, he said. The widening of the Kundapur-Surathkal stretch of National Highway 66 would be completed by June, he added.
On Vasanth Salian contesting as a Janata Dal (Secular) candidate from the Kaup Assembly constituency in Udupi district, Mr. Moily said the Congress had given a chance to Mr. Salian to be an MLA five times and Minister twice. Mr. Salian lost in the last two Assembly elections. “If Mr. Salian leaves the Congress, it will be a loss for him. He will lose his deposit in Kaup,” Mr. Moily said.