Mah Govt deceiving people on Nanar refinery project: MPCC chief

BJP and Shiv Sena lock horns over Nanar Refinery project

"First the district collector has to send proposal to MIDC stating why there is need of land acquisition in case where people are opposing the project or the project is not feasible", said the official.

Industries Minister Subhash Desai, a senior Sena leader, announced in Ratnagiri that the government notification for acquiring land for the project in Nanar, over 350 kilometres from here, has been cancelled. "Besides, many people are now living on the land sought to be acquired for the project", he said. He also reiterated opposition to the proposed Jaitapur nuclear power project in the Konkan region, demanding it too be moved to Gujarat.

Addressing a meeting of protesting farmers at Nanar in Ratnagiri district on Monday, Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackeray claimed that he would not allow the refinery to come up, while Desai declared that he had scrapped the notification to acquire land for the project.

When asked about the upcoming elections for six legislative council seats in Maharashtra, Chavan said the party might finalise its stand on an alliance with the NCP on April 28 in Delhi. If it so desires, the BJP can take the project to Gujarat.

In a separate press conference, Mumbai Congress unit chief Sanjay Nirupam took a dig at the Maharashtra government over the contradictory statements made by Desai and Fadnavis.

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Thackeray, in an abrasive attack on Fadnavis and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, said the "people behind projects like Nanar refinery were those villains who had showed the dreams of achche din". "What happened to Gujarat, we will not let that happen to Nanar and Konkan". We will not spare anyone who will cause devastation in Konkan.

He said the area sought to be acquired by the state government for the project " is covered by mango, cashew, and bamboo plantations. Desai had threatened to resign if the CM forced his way. The Shiv Sena, opposition parties Congress and the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), as well as BJP ally Narayan Rane of the Maharashtra Swabhimaan Paksh have opposed the project.

The Congress leader said around 60 per cent of land in Nanar had been bought by "rich people from Mumbai and other cities" even before the project was formally announced, "which smacks of a huge scam".

He further said that the decision of the same rests with the high-power committee which comes under the state's chief secretary and not with the minister. Desai and a group of Sena ministers met Fadnavis before the weekly meeting of state cabinet on Tuesday, and demanded that the land earmarked for the refinery be denotified. "We have expressed the feeling of common man of Konkan". The mega project is expected to generate one lakh jobs and bring in investment of up to Rs 1 lakh crore.

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