Mumbai, Apr 13 (PTI) Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis today said that the Memorandum of Understanding signed two days ago was for the West Coast Refinery Project and not the one supposed to be set up at Nanar in Ratnagiri.
The Nanar mega-refinery has been opposed by the Shiv Sena with its chief Uddhav Thackeray stating yesterday that his party would not allow it to be set up “under any circumstance”.
Thackeray had further attacked Fadnavis by saying that the Centre had given the go-ahead for the project despite the latter having promised that the refinery would not be “imposed” on local residents, many of whom have been opposing it.
Speaking to newspersons at the site of the Ambedkar Memorial at Indu Mill compound, Fadnavis today said that the refinery at Nanar would come after taking local residents into confidence, adding that he would be speaking to project affected persons (PAPs) there.
Referring to Thackeray’s statement on the MoU two days ago, Fadnavis clarified that it was signed in connection with the West Coast Refinery project.
“That MoU has no connection with the Nanar project,” said Fadnavis.
A Press Information Bureau release on Wednesday had stated that a consortium comprising Indian Oil Corporation, Bharat Petroleum Corporation and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation, along with Saudi Aramco, had signed a Memorandum of Understanding to jointly develop the Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL), an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex, in Maharashtra.
Fadnavis said the contention of local residents, that the Nanar refinery would cause environmental pollution, was not true.
“It will provide direct and indirect employment to over one lakh people,” Fadnavis said.
His statement came after PAPs led by Bhai Samant met NCP chief Sharad Pawar here today to voice their displeasure over the Nanar refinery project.
Samant, of the Konkan Refinery Shetkari Machchimar Sangharsh Samiti, said that Pawar asked for one month’s time to study the issue.
Pawar will be visiting PAPs in Nanar on May 10.
Earlier local NCP leader from Rajapur, Ajit Ankushrao, met Pawar to apprise the NCP chief of the opposition of local residents to the refinery.
Yesterday, Sena chief Thackeray had alleged that Fadnavis had betrayed him.
“Finally, the chief minister also turned out to be one with a weak spine. Despite promising that the project will not be imposed, it has been. Under any circumstance, the Shiv Sena shall not allow the project to happen,” Thackeray had said.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.