Mangalore, April 26, 2016: After an emergency meeting with officials on water scarcity, Minister for Urban Development Vinay Kumar Sorake told media on Apr 25, Monday that MRPL, Mangalore Special Economic Zone, Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilisers (MCF) and all other industries would not receive Nethravati water with immediate effect.
Production and supply of fuel and liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) may be affected in many parts of Karnataka as MRPL, Mangalore Petrochemicals and Refineries Ltd. has been asked not to draw water from the Nethravati following Mangaluru city facing unprecedented water shortage. Shutting down of the refinery is the only option for want of water.
While Nethravati, the lifeline of Dakshina Kannada, has stopped flowing, the water level at Thumbe vented dam — from where water is drawn for Mangaluru city — has reached alarmingly lower levels, with water enough for about a week. There is dead storage at Shambhoor vented dam, upstream Thumbe, where a mini-hydel power plant is functioning.
MRPL and MSEZ used to draw 6 million gallon per day (MGD) and 8 MGD from Shambhoor. MRPL had to shutdown operations under similar circumstances in April 2012 when the Nethravati had gone dry. MCF gets about 2 MGD from Mangaluru City Corporation. MSEZ has MRPL Phase III, OMPL and Cardolite Speciality Chemicals India under its fold.
MRPL managing director H. Kumar stated that the company would follow the administration’s directive. It was another issue that Karnataka would face fuel and LPG crisis if MRPL was shut down, he said. The company was sourcing almost 40 per cent of its water requirements through internal sources as well as recycled water.
About 80 per cent of Karnataka’s fuel requirement was met by MRPL. The government, MRPL MD Kumar, said had the responsibility to supply water to industries. There was no meaning in inviting industries to set up shop and denying water to them.