Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), Karnataka, India


Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) is a petroleum oil refinery located near Jokatte village in Dakshina Kannada district. It is a subsidiary of state owned Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC). The plant has been established in 1993 and recently made an expansion plan (in the third phase) of the plant. For this process MRPL has recently acquired about 274 acres of land at Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ).

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Basic Data
NameMangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), Karnataka, India
SiteVillage - Bala, Kalavar, Kuthetoor, Katipalla, and Adyapadi; District -Dakshina Kannada
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Industrial and Utilities conflicts
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Oil and gas exploration and extraction
Specific CommoditiesCrude oil
Industrial waste
Project Details and Actors
Project DetailsMangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited (MRPL), is an oil refinery located at Mangalore. MRPL is a subsidiary of ONGC and established in 1993. MRPL acquired 274 acres at Mangalore Special Economic Zone (MSEZ) to expand its refinery in the third phase. It has invested about Rs 15,000 crore for this expansion. According to MRPL website, the Refinery has got a versatile design with high flexibility to process Crudes of various API and with high degree of Automation. It has a design capacity to process 15 million metric tons per annum and have 2 Hydrocrackers producing Premium Diesel (High Cetane). It also has 2 CCRs producing Unleaded Petrol of High Octane [4].
Project Area (in hectares)110
Level of Investment (in USD)$2,428,235,747 (Rs/-15,000 Crore)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population4,000-10,000(800 Families)
Start Date2014
Company Names or State EnterprisesMangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (MRPL) from India - owner
Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) from India
Relevant government actorsGovernment of Karnataka

Ministry of Environment & Forest
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersNagarika Horata Samiti

Democratic Youth Federation of India (DYFI)- Youth Wing of Communist Party of India (Marxists)

Local Villagers

The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)MEDIUM (street protests, visible mobilization)
When did the mobilization beginMobilization for reparations once impacts have been felt
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Local ejos
Local government/political parties
Social movements
Local scientists/professionals
Forms of MobilizationOfficial complaint letters and petitions
Public campaigns
Street protest/marches
Environmental ImpactsVisible: Air pollution, Loss of landscape/aesthetic degradation, Noise pollution, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion
Potential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Soil contamination
Health ImpactsVisible: Other environmental related diseases
Potential: Exposure to unknown or uncertain complex risks (radiation, etc…), Other Health impacts
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Loss of livelihood, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Potential: Displacement, Land dispossession
Project StatusIn operation
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCompensation
Environmental improvements, rehabilitation/restoration of area
Strengthening of participation
Under negotiation
Application of existing regulations
New Environmental Impact Assessment/Study
Development of AlternativesVillagers are demanding that the government to close down the sulphur and coke plants. The pollutants from the plant are spreading many other villages nearby which causes serious health hazards for the local people. Annoyed by the pollution caused by the plant, many villagers are willing to give away their land to the plant and move away from their village. Following complaints from the people of Jokatte Village, Karnataka Minister for Environment & Forest had appointed an expert “Technical Advisory Committee (TAC)”. The committee will do the necessary inspection and talk to the affected people. According to the Newspaper Business Standard report on October 11, 2014, the fact finding report by the committee is waiting [1].
Do you consider this as a success?No
Why? Explain briefly.Protestors claimed that after the recent expansion, the plant is increasingly emitting pollutants in the surrounding areas. As a result, residents were falling sick because of the nauseous smell and fumes. They are demanding immediate suspension of sulphur and coke plants. The water in the nearby lake and wells has been contaminated. Even fish has disappeared from the lake. They want the government to take immediate action and ask the company to close down the sulphur and coke plants. They also observed that the company had failed in building up a green belt around the new plant to shield residents against the pollution. So they demanded that MRPL should either acquire the lands affected by the “pollution” from the plant or shut down the operations of the plant [2].

However company officials denied all allegations and claimed that they had taken all possible pollution control measures directed by the government agencies. They also claimed that they regularly check air and water quality in the surrounding areas and their report shows that there is no cause for concern for the people of surrounding areas. The company is willing to do necessary modifications if recommended by the experts [1].
Sources and Materials

The Water (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1974
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The Air (Prevention and Control of Pollution) Act 1981
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[1] MRPL faces massive protest from villagers for causing 'pollution'
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[2] Jokatte residents protest against MRPL Phase III
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[3] India: Protest against Manglorean Refinery & Petrochemical Ltd - villagers cite adverse impact on health, company claims protests motivated with vested interests to gain employment
[click to view]

[4]Mangalore Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd
[click to view]

Activists protest against MRPL plant pollution
[click to view]

Other Documents

Members of Nagarika Horata Samithi, Jokatte, staging dhrana in front of the MRPL cargo gate Source :
[click to view]

Meta Information
ContributorSwapan Kumar Patra
Last update06/02/2015