Nanar refinery: Sharad Pawar intervenes, promises to visit affected villages of Maharashtra

Mumbai: Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Friday reiterated that the Nanar mega refinery petrochemical project would be completed but the state government would speak with project affected people (PAPs). His statement came after PAPs led by Bhai Samant met Sharad Pawar, chief of Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), in the morning at his Mumbai residence. A delegation led by Samant of Konkan Refinery Shaetkari Machchimar Sangharsh Samiti met Pawar. Pawar though did not take any stand on the issue, but assured that he would visit the project-affected villages on May 10.

Two different committees- one led by Samant, which is known as samiti of local villagers and another one — Refinery Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti led by Ashok Welam that represents people from the villages who live in Mumbai. Both the committee members are trying to garner support of different political outfits including Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS).

Walam on Thursday hold a public meeting at Dadar and announced that they would hold a dharna before Varsha, the official residence of Fadnavis. Walam was once known as a Shiv Sena supporter, but he changed his loyalty and is now backing Narayan Rane, Member of Parliament of Bharatiya Janata Party and founder of Maharashtra Swabhiman Paksh (MSP) after MSP Rane established his power in Kankavli.

Walam on Wednesday night had met Rane at Kankavli after four oil companies signed an agreement with Saudi Aramco on Tuesday. Later Rane, who too is an opponent of the refinery project, met Fadnavis in Mumbai and conveyed sentiments of the project-affected people.

Pawar listened to the issue. He assured that he would visit villages on May 10 and has given a period of 3 hours that he would spend with PAPs. Pawar apparently told them he will need a month to study the project. “PAPs are stating very different than what state government claimed about the project,” Pawar remarked. Meanwhile, speaking with media, Fadnavis said that he had clearly told Shiv Sena chief Uddhav Thackeray that the project would be implemented only after taking local people into confidence. “It is not true that the project will cause pollution in the region,” he said.

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