Maharashtra: Raj Thackeray reiterates his support for mega refinery project in Konkan

Mr Thackeray had opposed the project earlier but later had changed his stand pressing for the mega refinery development during Maha Vikas Aghadi government in March 2021

Sanjay JogUpdated: Sunday, December 04, 2022, 06:56 PM IST
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MNS chief Raj Thackeray | Photo by ANI

Mumbai: The Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Mr Raj Thackeray on Sunday reiterated his support for the development of a mega refinery in the Konkan region.

Mr Thackeray, who had opposed the project earlier but later had changed his stand pressing for the mega refinery development during Maha Vikas Aghadi government in March 2021, today said,’’ I was of the view that the mega refinery project should not come up in the Konkan region. However, in the present situation it will not be in the interest of the state and Konkan to go such project out of Maharashtra.’’

Divide in Shiv Sena UBT party over the project

Mr Thackeray’s statement came after the Shinde Fadnavis government recently declared that the mega refinery project will come up at Barsu village in Ratnagiri district. Thereafter, a division was surfaced in the Shiv Sena Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray as the party MP from Ratnagiri-Sindhudurg seat, Mr Vinayak Raut, voiced against the project development but the party legislator from Rajapur assembly Mr Rajan Salvi strongly came out in its support.

Mr Thackeray, who is currently on his tour in the Konkan region, said, ‘’The people from the Konkan region have come to know that after the announcement of the mega refinery project who took their lands at a throwaway price. However, when the land purchases happened the local people did not bother to know who those people were who were buying their lands and why they were doing it. What is the use of talking about that issue when the lands have been bought over.’’ He advised the local people to think twice before selling their lands in future. 

Mr Thackeray’s support to the mega refinery project has been a major boost to the Shinde Fadnavis government and it will be skillfully exploited to expose widening rifts in the Shiv Sena UBT on this issue. 

Uday Samant: "Efforts are on to give higher compensation towards land acquisition.."

The industry minister Mr Uday Samant, who after his meeting with the elected representatives on November 22, had said that of the 6,200 acre of land, the letter of consent has been given by the land owners for 2,900 acres. Efforts are on to give higher compensation towards land acquisition. The government will not exert any pressure on the villagers for the development of the mega refinery there. The water for the proposed refinery will be used from Koyana river and not from Arjuna river by laying down the pipeline, he added.

Mr Samant said that the government has accepted Mr Salvi’s suggestion not to supply water from Arjuna river as it may cause water shortage in Rajapur and around. "The villages through which the pipeline will pass will be supplied with water. However, the Gram Panchayats will have to pay the water cess. The pipeline will come up to Barsu and 160 MLD water will be required for the project,’’ he added.

Mr Samant said that the crude oil stock will be built up at Natesakhar Village where the digging of bore has already begun and works are under way in various other places. ‘’There will be direct employment for 3,000 people and indirect employment of 75,000. The project will entail an investment of nearly Rs 2 lakh crore,’’ said Mr Samant. 

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