‘Sorry, We Won’t Repair Road’- MD H Kumar of MRPL
Mangaluru : Tit-for-Tat! In response to the comments made by MCC Mayor, where he had said during a meeting with media persons that heavy vehicles operating to and from Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) were responsible for the dilapidated condition of the Surathkal-Kana-MRPL Road, where he also stated to stage a dharna in front of MRPL if the company did not take up repair works within 20 days from now, MRPL Managing Director H. Kumar responded saying that his company will not be able to repair the stretch of the bad road due to lack of funds. He also said that the activity does not come under the schedules of corporate social responsibility.
Speaking to Team Mangalorean, H Kumar said, ” In 2010 we have already spent Rs. 1.5 crore to repair the road and maintained it for two years as a one-time measure. Recently, MRPL, along with MSEZ Ltd., reconstructed the Kana-Jokatte Road with concrete at a cost of Rs. 30 crore. I am just wondering why MRPL was being held responsible for movement of LPG/bullet tankers, as those tankers were being operated by Indian Oil Corporation Ltd., Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd., and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd, which were bigger than MRPL. The authorities could examine private investment in reconstruction of the road and levy toll, up to Rs. 200, for bullet tankers for using the road while exempting local vehicle users. But at the moment we are sorry to say that we will be not in a position to repair the dilapidated road. I have already written to Mangaluru City Corporation expressing the inability of the company to repair/ reconstruct the road.”
When a reporter asked H Kumar about MCC Mayor Harinath staging a dharna in front of MRPL if they don’t fix the road within 20 days, for which Kumar said “I have no answer or any comments for that?”
Earlier while addressing the media personnel MCC Mayor Harinath had said that MRPL should own up responsibility for the damaged state of the road. “I would be part of an agitation by civil society members if the company did not take up the repair works within the given deadline. I will even ask MCC councilors to join in the protest against the company for the poor state of the road. About 90 per cent of heavy vehicles plying on the road are operating to and from the MPRL. It required about Rs. 3 crore now to repair the 4.5-km damaged stretch. MCC does not have enough fund to be spent on it. MRPL should use its corporate social responsibility fund for the purpose. The civic body had written to the Deputy Commissioner of Dakshina Kannada, the office of the Chief Minister and MRPL drawing their attention to the damaged road. There was no response from the company to the letter. The Chief Minister’s office in a September 26 letter to the Deputy Commissioner has asked to take suitable action. But the condition of the road remained as it is.”
Meanwhile it is learnt that the Nagarika Horata Samithi, Kana, has said that it would take out a padayatra to MRPL, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) and BASF on October 6 to press for repairs to the road. Convener of the Samithi B.K. Imtiyaz alleged that heavy vehicles operating to and from the companies were responsible for the poor condition of the road. Imtiyaz has also alleged that councilors of the corporation concerned and the company officials are not responding to the problems being faced by people due to the worn out stretch of the road.