Mumbai: The Shiv Sena and the BJP on Tuesday accused former chief minister Uddhav Thackeray of double standards for opposing Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemical Company’s (RRPCL) proposed oil refinery and petrochemicals project.
Industries Minister Uday Samant and Arpit Mathur from the BJP’s media cell posted on social media a letter Thackeray wrote to Prime Minister Narendra Modi when the MVA was in power. In the letter, dated January 12, 2022, the Shiv Sena (UBT) chief welcomed the venture.
Refinery to have capacity of 60 million tonnes pa
The project is being jointly promoted by a consortium of Indian Oil, Bharat Petroleum, Hindustan Petroleum and Saudi giant Aramco at a cost of $40 billion. It is proposed to have a refining capacity of 60 million tonnes per annum, making it one of the largest refineries in the world.
The project was earlier supposed to be located at Nanar, in the Konkan. But Thackeray and his party opposed it vehemently citing environmental concerns. Finally it was relocated to Rajapur taluka, also in the Konkan.
Shiv Sena opposes project
As former chief minister Thackeray informed Modi: “Initially the project was proposed at Nanar in Ratnagiri. However, the project could not be executed due to environment and rehabilitation constraints. The state government has now proposed a land parcel of around 13,000 acres which will be made available for acquisition around village Barsu located at Rajapur taluka of Ratnagiri…”
He further said that “90% of the land parcel is barren and displacement of houses/wadis is estimated since the village is located outside the project area. The land parcel is free from all encumbrances and will be used without disturbing the ecological balance… The project when implemented will contribute to the growth of GDP by around 8.5% and will significantly boost the economy of the nation... The government of Maharashtra will ensure complete support to the project and are ready to hand over the land to RRPCL immediately once all the necessary clearances are obtained from the Government of India.”
'Thackeray is sadly mistaken'
A source in the BJP said: “Thackeray is sadly mistaken if he thinks that he will get the votes of Konkani people by opposing the project. Konkan is a backward region and the big project will change the face of it.”
The Shinde-Fadnavis government is determined to go ahead with the project, according to the source.
Now the next big-ticket project is the Jaitapur atomic power plant, also in Konkan.
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