The Nanar refinery project, in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district, will not be imposed on the people of the area and the government wanted to find a solution to the issue through discussions, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis told the state Legislative Council.
The USD 44 billion dollar project, a venture of Indian, Saudi Arabian and United Arab Emirates oil firms, is being opposed by a section of the people there as well as parties like the Shiv Sena which have claimed that it would destroy the ecosystem of the Konkan belt.
Fadnavis was replying to queries raised about the project by MLCs Husnabanu Khalife, Sharad Ranpise, Sanjay Dutt, Sunil Tatkare, Anil Parab, Kiran Pawaskar and Leader of Opposition in the Council Dhananjay Munde.
Khalife asked the government if the project’s land acquisition presentation was shown to the residents and panchayat functionaries of Nanar, to which Fadnavis replied that there was no such procedure.
Fadnavis added that the notification to acquire land for the refinery complex had not yet been de-notified.
The Sena’s Anil Parab said that the people of the area had given a “non consent” letter to the state government and wanted to know if the project would be cancelled on the basis of this letter.
Replying to him, Fadnavis said,”We have earlier witnessed protests against the Samruddhi Expressway (Mumbai-Nagpur) corridor too. People had protested and gram panchayats had passed resolutions. However, we took everyone into confidence and explained the project to them.”
“The Mumbai-Nagpur corridor was acquired only after everyone involved agreed to it. The same approach would be followed for the Nanar project as well,” Fadnavis said.
The Congress’ Dutt said that the environment reports of the refinery project were not available on public platforms.
Fadnavis replied that a study on the project’s environmental impact had been completed and another one was underway.
The Leader of the Opposition Munde asked the government if it planned to initiate an inquiry into what the MLC claimed were suspicious land dealings in Nanar in anticipation of the refinery coming up there.
The Maharashtra CM said that an inquiry would be initiated if the state government received complaints about such land dealings.