Saturday, 4 February 2012

GIM in Bangalore, AGAIN??

In 2010, the Yeddyurappa government organised a large Global Investor's meet, GIM, in Bangalore (June 4,5 2010). The State was following Modi's model of Vibrant Gujarat Global Investors Summit that had attracted a large capital influx of Rs 7.5 lakh crores in a variety of "development" projects to Gujarat. The Bangalore event was organised at a whopping cost of 200 crore with large international lobbying to advice and attract global investments to the state.In a span of 2 days, the State Govt had signed MoUs worth Rs 4.7 lakh crores and promised away 1.5 lakh acres of land to its GIM partners along with generous provisions for water and energy (2500 MW). In return 890,000 new jobs were to be created in the state with "hopes of economic revival not just for the State, but also the nation" .The largest investments with 58 MoUs came from the Steel industries valued at Rs 2.2 lakh crores.

Meanwhile, Karnataka State is once more gearing up to host a second GIM, in July 2012. Before matters get too far, it is time to take a stock of realities and curses of the previous boon, i.e. what and how much else we lose besides land for industrial projects invited to the State by the previous GIM. 

Most industrial developments rely dominantly on power and also on water. This is especially true for the steel based industries that formed a substantial fraction of the MoUs signed. The table below summarises a district wise breakup of contributions and costs of GIM 2010. The data are taken from here.

(Click on the image for clearer viewing)

Looking at the Totals in the last line, one realises that for investing about Rs. 4 lakh crores, and a promised employment of about seven lakhs (lets not even check the quality of this employment for most), we in return promise Eighty thousand acres of land, a whopping 3700 MW of power, and an unforgivable 3 million kilo litres per Day - or 1218 billion litres per year or 43TMC!!! 

Lets now imagine what these numbers mean. First the power; Karnataka state's power production capacity is abut 6500 MW. This falls sufficiently short of our needs to require routine power cuts for domestic consumption, for farming, for significant drop in production of small scale industries due to lack of power. It requires a constant and continuous drive to insanely increase state's power production - via nuking (add additional reactors to Kaiga nuclear power plant), burning (thermal plants like highly questionable UPCL), and damning dams.  All efforts towards renewable and sustainable energy remain meager or just token efforts - like a 350 MW for solar projects in the state's new energy policy. 

Lets take a look at water. The requirement of the GIM 2010 industries is the same as the total capacity of the gigantic Almatti reservoir in the upper Krishna basin - every year! Are we willing to empty out, each year, an entire reservoir of water to provide for a few hundred industries without asking, what of the land? what of the people? Lets look at Bagalkot itself. The industries coming to the district will require about an eighth of the water of This reservoir - really.

All this resource squeeze has been calculated just for GIM 2010 industries. In its bid to continually and mindlessly attract foreign investors, GoK is equally focusing on agribusiness , textiles, tourism, even while it continues to plan a next spree of vast resource transfer with GIM 2012. 

I can think of only one way to respond  - PROTEST!

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