Industries at Visakhapatnam have pressed alarm bells with threat of drastic cut on water supply from the authorities concerned due to falling levels at various sources.

The District Collector J. Syamal Rao at a review meeting on Monday as a follow-up to the visit of Special Officer for Drought instructed the authorities concerned to impose heavy cut on industrial supply in view of an imminent crisis due to weak monsoon.

The Visakhapatnam Industrial Water Supply Company (VIWSCO) which supplies water to Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited (RINL) and NTPC Simhadri is in a fix on what to do next. The project is managed by AP Industrial Infrastructure Corporation and Greater Visakhapatnam Municipal Corporation (GVMC) after the exit of L&T.

A senior official connected with industrial water supply told THE HINDU on Tuesday that the situation was alarming and they were considering pros and cons of various options to ensure steady water supply to all.

Water is lifted from the river Godavari to Yeleru Left Main Canal by gravitation. However, due to reducing force, water is pumped by operating three powerful motors since August 12 entailing an additional burden of nearly Rs.2 crores per month. The VIWSCO’s advice to RINL and NTPC to bear the extra expenditure in proportionate to their usage has not evoked encouraging response with the two major consumers insisting on adjusting the amount from their investment in the project.

RINL, the flagship company of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant has an equity amounting to Rs.250 crores. NTPC-Simhadri has invested Rs.60 crores. The GVMC’s equity amounts to Rs.40 crores.

More drawal of water from Yeleru is possible by undertaking canal lining but it would necessitate an additional investment of at least Rs.50 crores. Such a measure would facilitate drawing of 20 million gallons per day (MGD) additionally.

RINL gets over 30 MGD and NTPC Simhadri seven MGD from VIWSCO whereas GVMC supplies 16 MGD from various reservoirs to various industries such as HPCL-Visakh Refinery (3.3 MGD), Hindustan Zinc Ltd (one MGD), Visakhapatnam Port (3.4 MGD), Hindustan Shipyard (0.6 MGD) and various naval establishments including Director-General Naval Projects and NSTL (3.5 MGD).

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