Water scarcity: Industrial production takes a hit in DK

Team Udayavani, May 15, 2019, 1:28 PM IST

Mangaluru: The water crisis currently being faced by the city has also severely affected the production capacities of Mangalore Chemical and Fertilizers Limited (MCF) and Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL). Both the industries are largely dependent on the water available at Thumbay dam. Thus, the lack of water affecting the production of the industries may have an adverse effect on the supply of fertilizers in the state and fuel in the country.

Production only after monsoon starts

MCF is the only fertilizer company in the state and it has currently stopped manufacturing fertilizers due to acute water shortage. MCF Director Prabhakar Rao has informed that the factory had been closed down since February and had operated for some days in April.

Mr Rao explained that as the water supply to the industry had been stopped by MCC, the plant will resume manufacturing chemicals only after the monsoons begin.”MCF required 1.5 to 1.6 MGD of water and only when the required amount of water is available will the unit start its operation,” he added.

Phases closed for annual maintenance

According to sources at MRPL, of the three units here, two phases have been shut down for annual maintenance. The first phase was shut down on May 9th following Deputy Commissioner’s order. Drawing of water has been completely stopped and currently, treated water from the MCC sewage treatment plant (STP),is being used for the operation of phase 2 of the refinery, informed the sources.

The lack of water has affected MRPL’s production capacity which has been reduced to half. The annual refinery capacity is 15 million tonnes. An official informs that the Phase 2 could be run for not more than two weeks. Although the work on the desalination plant – which received the CRZ clearance from the MoEF recently – is in progress, currently there is no other source of water.

Annual maintenance at MSEZ

It is learnt that Mangaluru Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) had stopped drawing water from Netravati on April 23. There are eight active units – including OMPL, ISPRL, Cardolite and four fish meal units here. Most of the units have been shut down for annual maintenance.

Kanara Small Industries Association (KSIA) president Gaurav Hegde said that small industries were utilising ground water. However, production of edible oil plants has taken a hit since huge quantities of water is required for its production. The only immediate solution is the rain, he pointed.

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