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Nanar won't be forced, talks with people still on: Fadnavis

Press Trust of India  |  Nagpur 

today said the Nanar refinery project would not be forced on the people and the issue will be resolved through dialogue.

He gave this assurance in the state Legislative Council here.

also said that the refinery project will come up anyhow, if not in Maharashtra, then somewhere else.

He was replying to a calling attention motion on Nanar refinery project moved by MLCs Sanjay Dutt, Sharad Ranpise, Bhai Jagtap, of Opposition Dhananjay Munde and others.

Dutt raised question marks over the "negative environmental impact" of the proposed on agriculture, fruit orchards and fishing activity in the Konkan region.

In his reply, said, "The Centre has taken a decision to set up a huge refinery taking into account the security concerns of the country. This refinery is to come up in the coastal region only.

"States like Gujarat, and had shown interest to set up the refinery with an investment of Rs 3 lakh crore, which would create one lakh job opportunities," he said.

Citing an example of a refinery in Gujarat, he said the state was witnessing a huge growth in its GDP thanks to that project.

"is able to earn a huge revenue despite the absence of excise duty from liqour. This refinery is the main source of revenue for that state. Secondly, the refineries being set up today are fourth generation. Such refineries do not pollute as they are technologically very advanced. Such refineries are being operated along the coast in and running quite well.

"Hence, taking into account all these advantages we decided to set up a refinery in and a notification for it was issued. Meanwhile, people started opposing the project, these included some local people, some outsiders and NGOs, fishermen and others. Nevertheless, we initiated talks with these people," Fadnavis said.

The project has run into rough weather, as local people as well as parties like the Shiv Sena, a constituent of the BJP-led state government, and the Navnirman Sena (MNS) have opposed it staunchly. It snowballed into a major political issue after Industries Minister of the announced that the notification for land acquisition stood cancelled.

However, taking umbrage at Desai's assertion that the land acquisition notification has been "cancelled", Fadnavis had later retorted saying that he had no authority to do so.

Fadnavis said, "Through his department, he (Desai) sent a proposal to the government to cancel the notification. But the government is yet to decide on the proposal."

"The government has so far received 5,500 objections along with consent letters for 2,500 acres of land, which shows that there is opposition as well as support to the project," he said.

"Hence, we have decided not to force the project on the people. We will try to remove the misunderstanding and confusion surrounding it. The government is taking suggestions and objections from the people. We are holding discussions with the people and the government has not proceeded further.

Similarly, we have sought new detailed environment and social impact assessment reports from NEERI, IIT-and Gokhale Institute, he added.

"I want to clarify that we want to solve this issue through dialogue and don't want to force this project," Fadnavis said.

Dutt asked how can the government still hold talks on the issue when the Centre has already committed and signed an agreement with Saudi giant

"The agreement with is for the refinery and it will come up anyhow, if not here then somewhere else. This country needs security and it will come up in west coast only and the project with will go ahead and there is no misunderstanding in that," he said.

sought to know the names of the people, who have given their consent for 2,000 acres of land for the project.

To this, Fadnavis said, "We will announce the names of the people provided there is no threat to their lives, or else information about them will be given to the of opposition or a senior leader," he said.

Dhananjay Munde sought a clarification from the government about who has the rights to issue notification on the concerned issue and on whether Nanar will happen or not happen.

In response, Fadnavis said that the higher powered committee and the CM will decide on the notification.

"Besides, the west coast refinery will come up anyhow, but will pursued through dialogue and it will not be forced upon the people," he reiterated.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, July 10 2018. 19:30 IST