Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray
ANI Photo

Mumbai: The ruling Shiv Sena has indicated to its alliance partners -- the NCP and the Congress -- that the MVA government does not want to jeopardise the Rs 3 lakh crore investment proposed for development of a refinery by oil marketing companies in collaboration the Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC).

The party also hinted that it does not want the project to shift to other states, thereby sending a wrong signal to domestic and foreign investors, especially at a time of economic slowdown.

However, the Shiv Sena insisted that the decision will be taken after bringing local people on board and after making with proper provision for environment conservation.

The Shiv Sena held a marathon meeting with the NCP and the Congress leaders last week and indicated that Maharashtra won't be a loser in the matter.

The refinery with 60 million tonnes annum capacity has been jointly proposed by State-run oil marketing firms and Saudi Aramco and Abu Dhabi National Oil Co (ADNOC).

Indian Oil Corp, Bharat Petroleum Corp and Hindustan Petroleum will own 50% and the balance will be held by Saudi Aramco and ADNOC in the Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL), the company that is building the project.

A Maha Vikas Aghadi minister told the FPJ: ''Three sites were discussed, including Nanar, where the proposal was earlier proposed in Ratnagiri district.

However, it has been suggested that in Nanar only barren and fellow land should be used, excluding the horticulture land in and around in the coastal Ratnagiri district. Another two potential sites include Roha in Raigad district and Palghar.

Recently, the Centre cleared a Rs 65,544.54 crore plan to build a deep-water port to be helmed by State-owned Jawaharlal Nehru Port Trust at Vadhavan in Palghar district.

He, however, said the final decision will be taken only after carrying out detailed environment impact assessment and viability studies. The Minister informed that the BJP led government had suggested Roha as an alternative site but there was no action so far. Incidentally, the local NCP unit and supporters of Nanar refinery have launched a campaign for its development.

On the other hand, opponents, too, have threatened an agitation. The Shiv Sena, which was the BJP's ruling ally between 2014 and 2019, had strongly opposed the project saying that it would side with the locals and would not compromise on the environment.

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