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Mangalore, April 18

MANGALORE Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) has been allowed to pump water from the Sarapady dam across Netravati river.

Of the two pumps used for lifting water, the district administration has permitted the refinery to use only one pump.

Sources in the MRPL told Business Line that though the refinery started pumping water from Sarapady dam on Sunday, it could not pump continuously. Pumping depends on the level of water at the reservoir.

They said that water level would have to be watched for a few days to get actual quantification of pumping. Rainfall in catchment areas is necessary for water level improvement in the reservoir.

Asked if the operations of Phase-II (six million tonne per annum) of the refinery will be shut down, they said that there is no need for such a move with the present water level.

The refinery was forced to shut down some of the units in Phase-I (3.69 million tonnes per annum) on Thursday due to acute shortage and non-availability of raw water from Netravati River. On Thursday, MRPL had expressed apprehensions that the operations of the Phase-II may be affected if the water availability is not increased.

On an average, the refinery used to pump around three to four million gallons per day (MGD) from the Netravati.

The Dakshina Kannada district administration had asked MRPL not to pump water from the dam following drinking water scarcity in the city. The Mangalore City Corporation had requested the district administration to ask MRPL not to pump water from the Sarapady dam, as it would affect water storage at Tumbe dam downstream the Sarapady dam. Mangalore city gets drinking water from Tumbe dam.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated April 19, 2005)
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