"The outstanding dues against 14 industrial units towards water charges has been estimated at Rs 500 crore," said state industries minister Raghunath Mohanty. He said the state government is taking steps to realise the amount from defaulting units.
Revealing that most of the dues are locked in litigation, the minister said legal recourse are also being taken to unlock the amount.
Mohanty said the state government has collected Rs 2.22 crore as penalty from a number of industrial units which were drawing water from rivulets and canals without the permission of authorities.
The Orissa government has been criticised by the Opposition for allotting water from the reservoir to industrial houses indiscriminately. The Orissa Assembly on Monday witnessed a noisy scene on this issue.
The industries minister, however, said there is enough water for irrigation and drinking purposes even though the water is allotted to industries. He said the state is able to use 4% of the rain water in agriculture, 0.3% for drinking purpose, 2.4% for industrial use and 23.4% for other purposes. Nearly 70% of rainwater received by the state flows into the sea.
Mohanty said of the 86 MoU companies 45 have been allotted a total 1,214 cusec water. Water linkage has been provided to 26 steel units, 13 power projects, four aluminium complexes and one cement units.
While steel plants have been allotted 614.322 cusec water, these units are now drawing 68.82 cusec water. Posco-India has been provided a water linkage of 122.63 cusec from Jobra Barrage of Mahanadi river, while the Jindal Steel & Power 95.16 cusec from Brahmani river. Similarly, MoU Independent Power Projects (IPPs) have been allotted 453.82 cusec water.