Allies target BJP over Nanar project in Maharashtra

Mumbai, April 12 : After the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Project (JNPP), the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party was targeted on Thursday by its allies, Shiv Sena and Maharashtra Swabhimana Party (MSP) over the upcoming Nanar refinery project coming up in coastal Ratnagiri.

MSP President Narayan Rane, who recently was elected to the Rajya Sabha as a NDA nominee, made it clear that "we shall not allow the project to come up at any cost".

Shiv Sena President Uddhav Thackeray said in a statement that "we shall not permit the project to happen under any circumstances" and accused Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis of going back on his assurances.

The political heat was generated a day after a consortium comprising three major Indian oil marketing companies - IOCL, BPCL and HPCL signed a MoU with Saudi Arabian Oil Co, (Saudi Aramco), for setting up India's biggest oil refinery and petroleum products complex in the eco-sensitive Ratnagiri.

When completed, the Rs 3 trillion complex at Nanar will be the world's biggest single-location oil refinery project with a capacity to process 60 million tonnes annually.

While Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and Fadnavis had earlier assured that the project would be good for Maharashtra, Fadnavis said later it would not be pushed through without the consent of the local population.

"The CM has categorically stated that this destructive project will not come up in the Konkan as the locals are against it.

This is not only treachery, but shows that his word has no value in Delhi," Thackeray said sharply.

He said during discussions with Fadnavis, it was made clear to him not to destroy the uniqueness of Konkan under the guise of development and stop the destruction of mango orchards and bamboo plantations.

"He should have firmly declared that he will not sit quiet if injustice is perpetrated on the people.

However, he seems to have 'surrendered', but Shiv Sena will not allow this project," Thackeray declared.

This is the second mega-project with international collaboration - JNPP with French and Nanar with Saudi help onn which the Shiv Sena and now also the MSP, has crossed swords with the rulling party.

Besides, several NGOs, villagers, farmers, fisherfolk and anti-nuke activists are also opposed to both projects coming up in the lush green Konkan region renowned for its Alphonso mangoes, cashewnuts and other fruits.

JNPP plans to construct six 1,650-MW nuclear reactors to generate 9,900-MW power at Madhban village in Ratnagiri, which would be the biggest in the world in terms of net electrical power rating.



Source: IANS