MUMBAI: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis has given into the demands of its alliance partner Shiv Sena and announced shifting of the Ratnagiri Refinery’s 60 million MT/year proposed project to another location where it has approval of local residents, but a former BJP MLA from Sindhudurg district on Friday said he supported the refinery to come up at the current location.
“I’m not against any political party. I’m only supporting a project that is brought in by my party, my government, and which is essential for local employment,” said Pramod Jathar, a former BJP MLA from Kankavli.“The project is essential for Konkan. The region is facing acute employment shortage and the project worth `3 lakh crore is absolutely essential as it will offer at least 1.5-2 lakh jobs for locals,” Jathar said. He appealed that the government should do an opinion survey among the locals to ascertain how many of them are really against the project.
Though CM Fadnavis, while announcing the renewed alliance with Sena, said that notification for the project would be immediately withdrawn, the industries minister, Shiv Sena’s Subhash Desai, said that the procedure would at least take a couple of days more. Officials concerned with the issue said they are yet to receive any instructions on the withdrawal or cancellation of the notification.
A senior bureaucrat also said the government does not want to lose out on the project, and may start the land acquisition after the polls. Ratnagiri Refinery’s joint venture partner Saudi Aramco said they remained positive on their investments in India. “We will catch up in case of any delay in setting up the mega refinery in India due to location shift,” Amin Al-Nasser, CEO of Saudi Aramco, said during a state visit this week.