“This article is written to tell the world how an ordinary looking Bidar Chamarajanagar expressway – NH150A can bring prosperity to the region. If the projects we propose are implemented in totality, It can permanently transform the region for good. It has the potential to create lakhs of jobs for the youth in their hometown”
However, our suggestions will come in many parts and in the form of a series of articles. This article will talk about ways to fully harness the agriculture/ farming potential of the region. Food processing, biodiesel production and biodiesel power generation are part of the narration. This is our way to support job creation in the region. Happy reading.
“Money drives everything in this world”, goes the adage. A good economy can pump money into the market, turning it into healthy. A healthy market can raise money to build infrastructure. A good infrastructure setup can bolster the economy. In the sense, economy and infrastructure are the 2 faces of the same coin. So, it is a vicious circle where one feeds onto the other. Either of them cannot exist without the other. So, investing on the infrastructure is a must to kickstart the economy. Let’s peek into history to see how it has helped countries to get their economies rolling.
Throwback to the USA in the 1950s
If we look back, the US recovered from the 1929 – 1939 deepest economic depression by building motorways, power plants, dams, public housing, defence industries, seaports and other infrastructure, which triggered economic recovery. The recovery was so intense that by the 1950s, the US became the world’s largest economy. It’s a phenomenal transformation – from economic deprivation in the 1930s and 1940s to economic excesses by the end of 1950s. The decade 1960s saw the focus shifting from the “do whatever it takes to trigger the economy” to “run the economy efficiently with little resources”. By this, the seeds of “do more with little” were sown in the 1970s, and what followed was nothing short of a miracle. The “EFFICIENCY” became the buzzword around which Federal economic policies were framed.
Outsourcing as an Industry was born
The concept of product manufacturing outsourcing to other countries was the result of this thinking. What is not efficient to make it locally, outsource it overseas was the mantra. That means, those low end products which were expensive to make in America and also the ones which pollute the environment, were outsourced to Asia. They (Asians) could make it cheaply, and exported it back to the US economically. Also, the ship building companies started to build larger and larger ships to carry a very huge volume of products to the USA in one go. The much needed efficiency in building big ships was achieved, with that the outsourcing industry got deep routed.
So, for the average American, thanks to the high dollar value, the imported products became increasingly affordable. This led to a consumption boom, and because of that more products were outsourced, and as a consequence more Asians got richer.
Rise of Asia
The 1960s and 1970s saw the rise of Japan as a booming economy followed by Taiwan and South Korea. The 1980s saw ASEAN countries following the footsteps of Japan, Taiwan and Korea to prosperity. In fact, ASEAN economies were once called “tiger economies” for their “jaw dropping” growth rates in the 1980s.
China triggered her exponential growth in the 1990s and became the “darling of the world” for investments in the new millennium. She even became the “factory of the world” by the first decade of the 21st century.
However, in hindsight, there is one thing that is common among all countries mentioned above – they seriously took the “INFRASTRUCTURE” path to achieve excellence in their economy. That means, they put the “infrastructure development” agenda ahead of everything, and got to where they are today.
India has to do the same thing to get rich
To bring economic prosperity and harmony in the society, India has to do exactly the same thing the other Asian countries did – develop world class infrastructure. This will increase the efficiency of our economy.
Kalyana Patha – An Expressway to Prosperity
Karnataka comes in the top 5 list of developed states in India. However, the growth is skewed more towards Bengaluru (urban & rural). That means, the growth in Karnataka is more of Bengaluru centric, with hinterland left to fend for itself. As a result, there is economic deprivation in most of the neglected areas, which needs to change. Infrastructure development has the ability to bring that in the region.
One such project, which has the potential to change the face of the state for good, is the North – South 10 lane Expressway (An E-way with 2 lane freeway) along with other supporting infrastructure projects. The 850 kms E-way is to connect Bidar – the northern tip of Karnataka with Chamarajanagar – the southern tip of Karnataka. This E-way touches many villages, small towns and cities on the way, thus giving fillip to the local economies.
National Highway -150A
Bidar Chamarajanagar expressway – NH150A already exists and the state government had prepared a Detailed Project Report (DPR) earlier to convert it into a 8 lane highway. The existing Bidar – Srirangapatna road NH-150A passes through Kalaburagi, Ballari, Hiriyur and Nagamangala. The road has to extend to the starting point – Chamarajanagar. Nevertheless, just a 8 lane highway is not at all enough to become the “GROWTH ENGINE” for the state. What is required is much more than that, which is explained below.
The map is given below for common understanding
Loop Entry and Exit Points
The proposed project is an Expressway (E-way) should start from Chamarajanagar – the southern tip of Karnataka to Bidar – the northern tip of Karnataka. The E-way should by-pass all towns and cities coming in between and yet have provision to get “in and out” of the cities/ towns like a breeze. That means, important towns like Nanjangud, Srirangapatna, Nagamangala, Huliyur, Hiriyur, Bellary, Siruguppa, Vijayapura, Kalburgi should have “loop entry and exit” points. The state-of-the-art tolling system should determine tolls and deduct money as per the kilometers travelled.
Other than those towns, there should be entry/ exit points to travel to important cities like Bengaluru, Tumakuru, Davangere and Hubli/ Dharwad. People should be able to easily exit out of E-Way to travel to these cities OR enter E-way from these cities without hurdles.
Motels and EV charging facility
Motels, restrooms, restaurants and Battery swapping/ EV charging facilities, emergency medical facilities, 24×7 vehicle breakdown assistance should come up at strategic places. The E-way should have loop exit/ entry points to these places. Also E-way should provide “password protected” “FREE WIFI” to those who travel on the road.
Warehouses dotting E-way
The region stretching the length of the road specializes in many varieties of vegetables, fruits and grains. The government can quickly come up with a new “WAREHOUSING POLICY” to attract private investments in the “warehousing and logistics” sector to store farm products with all necessary infrastructure all along the road.
The central government’s “New Agriculture Policy -2020” now allows sale of harvested farm produce to any private buyers. The product from the warehouse can be quickly moved to the buyer through the 3rd party logistics operator.
Value addition of farm produce is the key for success
Always money is in the value addition, that means for the farm sector it is in the food processing.
For example- More money can be made in the selling packaged wheat flour than selling plain wheat grain itself. Similarly there is even more money to be made in selling semi-cooked frozen chapatis than selling packaged wheat flour, so on and so forth. Higher on the value chain, higher is the money margin. Also, the region produces oil seeds and nuts (sunflower seeds, oil seeds & coconuts) which can be processed to extract edible oil using private investments. Other than that, turmeric, chillies, onions, garlic and other fruits & veggies are grown too.
Production Linked Incentive (PLI) Scheme
Now the Food processing sector is put under the central government’s “Production Linked Incentive (PLI)” scheme, which rewards companies based on the pre-decided production target reached. The Karnataka government can make use of it to invite private investments to set up mini processing centers all along the E-way to produce wheat/ rice/ Jowar flour, varieties of edible oils, biscuits.
There can be massive sized “FOOD PARKS” at strategic points along the E-way. The produce can be stored in the warehouses and forwarded through logistics operators to the large buyers like ITC and others. The goods movement can happen on the E-way.
Biofuel from Jatropha and other non-edible oil bearing crops
The region along the E-way has areas which are prone to recurring droughts, and because of that land has become barren. On barren lands Jatropha fruit (Jatropha curcas) can be cultivated without any hitch. This is because the plant can grow in wastelands and on almost any terrain, even on gravelly, sandy and saline soils. It can thrive in poor and stony soils too. The government can help farmers grow this crop on all the barren lands of the region.
Other than Jatropha, following crops show a lot of potential in making biodiesel, they too can be grown by the farmers in the region as intercrop.
- Derris Indica (Pongamia pinnata)
- Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
- Castor Bean (ricinus communis)**
- Karanja (Pongamia pinnata)
- Kokum (Garcinia indica)
- Moringa oleifera**
- Mahua (Madhuca indica)
- Citrullus colocynthis
- Neem (Azadirachta indica)
- Ricinus communis
- Simarouba (Simarouba glauca)
- Tumba (Citrullus colocynthis)
The above crops can be used as second generation (2G) biodiesel feedstock. Which is approved by the central government.
** Castor and Moringa crops have high nutritional values and can be used to prepare superfood to boost people’s health. Private companies can be invited to set up plants to make nutrition products based on them.
National policy on Biofuels -2018
In fact, the central government’s “National Policy on Biofuels-2018” incentivises and supports biofuel production from a plethora of sources. The Karnataka government should encash it on by inviting companies to set up small biofuel plants all along the E-way. They (producers) can collectively bargain the price of biodiesel and sell it to oil marketing companies – Indian oil, HP, BP, SHELL etc. Also, the government can invite private companies to build storage tanks all along the Bidar Chamarajanagar expressway – NH150A to store bio-diesel.
Biodiesel/ Biogas from the vegetable waste
The agriculture waste (waste from the harvest) of the region and also bio-waste (rotten vegetable/ fruits) collected from various veggie markets of the towns and cities of the region, can be used to produce biodiesel OR Biogas which can be stored in the tanks, set up by private parties along E-way. The government should invite private companies and offer tax breaks to build biodiesel/ biogas plants from bio-waste.
The RESIDUE obtained from the production of bio-fuels have high concentration of nutrients, which can be used as ORGANIC MANURE by the farmers. It can be stored in the warehouses set up on both the sides of E-way.
Setup small biodiesel producing units
Government should offer attractive incentives to companies and encourage them to set up small units dotting all along the Bidar Chamarajanagar expressway – NH150A, to produce biodiesel from various sources. The government should work closely with various institutes doing cutting-edge research work in the biodiesel field. Somehow the biodiesel generation should be commercially exploited.
Biodiesel OR Biogas power plants
The biodiesel/ Biogas produced from various sources can be used to generate
power using biodiesel OR Biogas generators.
Government should offer attractive incentives to generate power using biofuels. Many small power plants can be built in the villages and towns of the region. The power produced by these plants can be supplied to the grid.
Biogas for cooking
Biogas produced from organic waste can be turned into cooking fuel, which helps lakhs of people who still use primitive firewood OR kerosene stove to cook food. The biogas should be bottled in steel cylinders like regular HP OR Indian oil gas cylinders and door-delivered to the consumers.
The government should seek PRIVATE INVESTMENTS for setting up BIOGAS BOTTLING PLANTS at strategic places all along the E-way. The incentives offered should be in the form of tax breaks, land given at subsidized rates and concession on electricity rates for first 3 years.
Form co-operative societies
Like dairy farmers, the cultivators of various oil bearing crops also should form co-operative societies in the region, to collectively bargain with the government for better rates for their crops and other incentives.
Similarly BioDiesel producers and the generators of power using biodiesel, can form their own respective cooperative societies in the region to establish collective bargaining power.
This will ensure a win-win situation for everyone.
The Bidar Chamarajanagar expressway – NH150A Kalyana Patha project, if implemented in totality, will create lakhs of direct and indirect jobs in the following sectors
- Farming and food processing units.
- Warehousing and logistics.
- Biodiesel production (from all kinds of sources).
- Mini power plants.
- Infrastructure build up.
- Biodiesel/ biogas producing units.
- Biodiesel/ biogas based power plants
- Biogas bottling units
- Consumer durables/ automobile sales & services*
- Real estate and allied sectors*
*When the buying power of people goes up, their appetite to improve their lifestyle also soars high. This will create huge demand for all kinds of consumer
durables, automobiles, low/ high cost housing, quality health care and education. These sectors too will create additional jobs in the rural areas.
What is in it for the government?
The government DOESN’T have to spend money to build any of these infrastructure setups, rather frame policies which incentivises private investments through tax breaks.
The Bidar Chamarajanagar expressway – NH150A “Kalyana Patha’‘ project if implemented in totality, in 10 years it will transform the region beyond recognition.
However, within 5 years when the benefits start reaching people, it will trigger tremendous goodwill among the people, as it creates lakhs of new jobs for the jobless youth in their hometowns. This will in-turn boost farmers’ income, thus ending their perpetual poverty.
Whichever government implements it, stands to stay in power for a long time. The government gets to experience the “FEEL GOOD” factor, which is more important than anything else in a democratic country like India, to retain power.
In the early 1980s, a few young small town boys from middle-income families, set out on their own by starting a company with a burning desire to make it big in life. They were determined to do it no matter whatever it took. In their professional journey, they often experienced disappointments, desperations, depressions which any normal man would have given up and run away. But these guys worked aggressively, determined to win somehow, as failure was not acceptable to them. In fact, the problems in life made these people tougher and even more assertive about success.
Finally, their time of reckoning came in the 1990s when their company was listed in the National stock exchange (NSE), and became the darling of the investors. In 2000 theirs was the first Indian company to list in Nasdaq. The rest, they say is history. Their company became a model for “corporate disclosure”, for others to follow.
The company in question is “Infosys ltd” and the team of founders were Narayan Murthi, Nandan Nilenkeni and others.
They became the flag bearers of India’s momentous arrival with a bang into the world big IT league. World recognised India’s potential and started giving the respect she deserved. It was them who taught millions of young Indians how to dream big and achieve bigger in life. Infosys along with TCS, WIPRO and HCL shaped up the Indian IT industry and took it to where it is today. Infosys itself recorded a turnover of Rs. 93,594 crores OR USD 13.0 billion in 2020.
Like Infosys, if the government has the STRONG INTENT and DETERMINATION, it will bring the Kalyana Patha project into fruition, no matter what it takes. Many developed countries did that and succeeded in transforming the lives of their citizens for good. Why not us?
The second part of Bidar Chamarajanagar expressway – NH150A “Kalyana Patha” Document Series will be published soon. Subscribe to us to get notifications.