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Will Oppose Any Move To Acquire Land For Nanar Refinery, Says Uddhav Thackeray


Will Oppose Any Move To Acquire Land For Refinery, Says Uddhav Thackeray

“We won’t allow government to acquire even an inch of land,” Uddhav Thackeray said

Mumbai:  Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray has attacked the BJP with whom it shares power in Maharashtra over the upcoming Nanar oil refinery project in Ratnagiri. Mr Thackeray was in Ratnagiri on Monday; he criticised both Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah over the project.

There have been several protests against land acquisition for the project. And it seems to be snowballing into a major issue with the Shiv Sena, NCP, MNS and Congress opposed to the project.

The centre plans to set up a mega-refinery in Ratnagiri. The state government has promulgated an ordinance under the MIDC Act, 1960 to acquire land for the project. The Shiv Sena, which holds the industries portfolio, is opposed to the project and has announced cancellation of the project.

“Shiv Sena will not allow the land to be acquired for the project. We won’t allow government to acquire even an inch of land,” Uddhav Thackeray told supporters at a rally in Ratnagiri.

Flanked by Maharashtra’s Industries Minister Subhash Desai, Mr Thackeray added, “We don’t need to learn patriotism from Shah and (PM) Modi.”

“The project will not happen here under any circumstances,” Mr Desai added.

Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis snubbed his minister. “What the minister has said is his personal opinion. It’s not the decision of the government. The government will take a decision based on national interest and Konkan region’s interest,” the chief minister said.

State-owned oil firms like IOCL, BPCL and HPCL and Saudi Aramco have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemical complex — Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd.

According to Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan, the proposed Rs 3 trillion refinery, when completed, will be the largest single-location refinery complex in the world with a capacity of 60 million tonnes.

The Congress, which had sent a delegation to the area, says the refinery would affect 15 villages in Rajapur taluka and two villages in Devgad taluka. Along with human displacement across 15,000 hectares, 13 lakh alphonso mango trees, seven lakh cashew trees as well as eight crore trees in the jungles will also have to be cut, the Congress alleged.

NCP chief Sharad Pawar is also likely to visit the area next month.

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