Santosh Patnaik

Steel plant has water only for 25 days

Usual requirement for VSP per day 25 mgd

VISAKHAPATNAM: Water availability to meet its future requirement and pricing are a matter of serious concern for Rashtriya Ispat Nigam Limited, the corporate entity of Visakhapatnam Steel Plant.

Due to delayed onset of monsoon and its increasing requirement, VSP, which used to have two months stock at Kanithi Balancing Reservoir, is now having water to meet requirement for 25 days or so. The pricing charged by Visakhapatnam Industrial Water Supply Company is another issue of serious concern.

“We have an intake of 22.3 million gallons per day (mgd) as against stock to meet the need for 23 days as on Friday,” D. Adinarayana, president of Visakha Steel Workers’ Union, the recognised union of VSP, said. He stated that the price charged for VSP for the water coming from natural resources was three times higher than the amount collected from Durgapur, Bhillai and Rourkela Steel Plants.

VSP, which gets Godavari water from the State Government, presently consumes 26 mgd. A dispatch of 40 mgd is done through Yeleru canal, which includes the losses suffered during the transmission.

During normal days, VSP receives 34 mgd. VIWSCO, which was incorporated in 2004 for supply of water for the industries has a provision for increase in price by four per cent per year. “This is a matter of serious concern as the State Government should not charge extra for VSP, a public sector which was set up after Visakha Ukku Andhrula Hakku agitation,” Mr. Adinarayana said. The price today is Rs 8.26 per cubic metre and the cost per day is Rs.7.85 lakh.

The usual requirement for VSP per day is 25 mgd. Due to expansion project it needs three mgd extra. Once the work for expanding its capacity to 6.3 millions at a cost of around Rs. 9,000 crores is completed, the plant will be needing 40 mgd. The employees and the unions feel that the price should be slashed on par with the charges collected from other steel plants run by SAIL.