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Residents demand action from MRPL on green buffer zone

January 25, 2023 07:33 pm | Updated January 26, 2023 10:43 am IST - MANGALURU

Members of the Nagarika Horata Samithi staging a protest in front of the main gate of MRPL on Tuesday.

Members of the Nagarika Horata Samithi staging a protest in front of the main gate of MRPL on Tuesday. | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Residents of Jokatte, Kalvavaru, and adjoining areas, under the aegis of the Nagarika Horata Samiti, on Tuesday carried out a protest outside the main gate of Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited, demanding the latter take steps to create a green buffer zone in 27 acres of land close to Jokatte.

In a statement, convener of the samiti, Muneer Katipalla, said the State government asked the MRPL in April 2016 to have the green buffer zone in 27 acres of area near Jokatte, following protests by residents affected by the MRPL’s coke sulphur unit.

Creation of the zone was among the six things that the MRPL was asked to comply with.

Despite over six years since the direction, the MRPL was yet to acquire the land and create the zone. The MRPL had so far not deposited to the government ₹180 crore that was demanded towards acquisition and compensation, he said.

Mr. Katipalla said residents of Jokatte and adjoining areas continued to bear with the pollution caused by the coke sulphur unit.

The untreated water from MRPL was polluting the Phalguni. The untreated water was also harming aqua species in the sea. The MRPL was also not providing employment to people from the region, Mr. Katipalla claimed.

In a press conference held recently, MRPL Managing Director M. Venkatesh said talks for acquisition of land was on and it was yet to reach finality.

The company was open to acquiring 27 acres of land. Denying allegations of pollution, Mr. Venkatesh said all actions had been taken to prevent sound, air and water pollution from its operations. The operation of the MRPL’s plants were being constantly monitored by State and Central agencies, he said.

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