Patrao deals mighty blow to MRPL, firm incurs loss

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Media source

Mangalore,21 July 2010:  Can you believe it? A displaced farmer in Mangalore has inflicted a whopping Rs 600 crore loss on one of the leading public sector undertakings in the country by refusing to forego his rights over a piece of land that has been acquired by the company. According to a statement issued by the Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals (MRPL), an ONGC group company, its expansion programme has got stuck due to a land dispute with a local farmer in Mangalore resulting in a loss of Rs 600 crore.


The disputed land belongs to Gregory Patrao, a local farmer, who is not willing to vacate his ancestral 14 acres despite losing his case in the Karnataka High Court, the company said in a statement. After the high court order, the land was acquired by Karnataka Industrial Area Development Board (KIADB) on April 28 this year for the development of third phase of MRPL.



However, due to protests from Patrao, it is yet to be handed over to MRPL. Mr Patrao, hailing from a agriculturist family from Kenjar near Bajpe, had recently staged a 24-day hunger strike outside the deputy commissioner’s office demanding return of his land. The strike was called off after Chief Minister BS Yeddyurappa reportedly called up Patrao with assurances to look into his grievances.



The MRPL also expressed concern that  Project could not be commissioned in its totality due to the ongoing protests by Patrao family. “Non-availability of the land, in time, could severely affect the project completion and may have a further huge impact on the overall financials of the Project," it said.


The total expansion project is spread over nearly 700 acres and land required from the farmers are about 282 acres, it said. Of this, 268 acres of land has been handed over to the MRPL by KIADB and the company has finished 46 per cent of expansion work amounting to Rs 9,638 crore by May this year.


The mini-ratna company’s phase three expansion cum upgradation project will increase its refining capacity by an additional 3 million tonnes per annum (MMTPA), involving a total cost of Rs 15,000 crore. The target for mechanical completion is October 2011.



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Comments on this Article
Ivan Lobo, Bangalore Wed, July-21-2010, 1:14
Patience of Mr. Patrao should be appreciated. Even today Gandhian way works. The authorities could have addressed this whole issue in a better way.
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