₹3 lakh crore oil refinery project poses new challenge for CM Thackeray

Radheshyam Jadhav Pune | Updated on July 15, 2021

Congress, NCP, BJP and MNS are in the favour of the project while Shiv Sena is opposed to it

With ₹3 lakh crore worth oil refinery project proposed at Nanar in Ratnagiri district of Maharashtra gaining support within his party and ruling alliance partners, Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray faces a tough challenge to maintain his party’s stand to oppose the much-debated project.

Rajapur Municipal Council in Ratnagiri approved a resolution on Tuesday and supported the oil refinery. The resolution was moved by the ruling Congress- Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) and supported by the BJP and two Shiv Sena councillors. Municipal President Jamir Khilafe told the media that the oil refinery project will bring investment and employment to the region. Pratiksha Khadpe, Shiv Sena member in the council, said that Gram Panchayats are coming out in the support of the refinery.

Shiv Sena leader and State Minister Uday Samant tweeted, saying “Rajapur Municipal Council has hurt the sentiments of local people and Shiv Sena will continue to stand with the people. It is confirmed that the oil refinery will not come up at Nanar because of opposition from the locals. People will not forgive those who are playing politics”.

Shiv Sena isolated

The Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemical Limited (RRPCL) was proposed to be set up in Ratnagiri district in 2015 when BJP- Shiv Sena government ruled the State. About 16,000-acre land spread in 17 villages in Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg was earmarked for the project. The project is a joint venture comprising Saudi Aramco, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and three Indian public sector oil companies namely Indian Oil Corporation Limited, Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited, and Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited.

Shiv Sena has been opposing the project saying that locals are against the project as it will harm the environment. In March Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray announced that the State government will not proceed with the Nanar oil refinery project as locals don’t want the project.

However, the NCP and Congress, the alliance partners of Shiv Sena have come out openly in support of the project since Shiv Sena- NCP-Congress government came to power in November 2019

“There are some problems faced by fisher folk which can be solved. Certain industrialists have taken lands of locals at lesser prices. This needs to be addressed as well. Once this issue is resolved, the Nanar oil refinery project will be made functional,” State Congress President Nana Patole recently said.

Congress, NCP, BJP and Raj Thackeray’s Maharashtra Navnirman Sena are in the favour of the project while Shiv Sena stands isolated in the political arena.

Published on June 23, 2021

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