Mangaluru, January 8: Mangalore Chemicals and Fertilizers (MCF), resumes production from Wednesday, January 7th. It is the only chemical fertilizer industry in Karnataka.
Over 2,000 workers who were employed in the factory had lost their jobs since the factory was shut down about three months ago, and farmers from all over the state, who were worried over possible shortage of chemical fertilizers, had protested to draw the attention of the state and central governments the need to keep the factory afloat.
The state and central governments were pressurized by MPs and MLAs of the twin districts had. As a result of these combined efforts, the factory has got a fresh lease of life.
MCF was using naphtha for production. The central government, which had adopted a policy which made it compulsory for such factories to shift to gas-based production, had stopped subsidy support for naphtha. As a result, MCF had suspended operations since September 30th, 2014.
Rs 305 crore have been spent to switch for gas-based production. Due problems in land acquisition process, the gas pipeline has not yet reached MCF. As MCF on its own is unable to lay this pipeline, the state government, with support from central government, has to fund this work. The pipeline is laid from Dabhol via Bengaluru, has been finished till Chitradurga. Proposal to extend it till MCF is waiting for the government’s consent. The central government has given its consent, and the employees and farmers are gay.
K N Sooryanarayana, president of MCF Mangala Labour Union said, current permission is valid for three months, and expressed his confidence that the permission will be extended.