Barasu refinery to be built if soil report found positive: CM Shinde

The ₹3 lakh crore project would be the largest single location refinery complex in the world a capacity of 60 million tonnes, for which Indian PSUs have signed MoU with a Saudi Arabian firm

Barasu refinery

Satara (Maharashtra): State chief minister Eknath Shinde said on Wednesday that work on Barsu refinery project in Ratnagiri will start only if land and soil report is found suitable for the project and the government would not force the project on the people.

At a press conference today in Mahableshwar of Satara district, CM Shinde said that the soil survey has been started yesterday with the permission of 60 to 70% local peoples and if land and soil testing report not suitable for that project then his government would not push the project further.

While criticising the opposition parties for its opposing the Barsu refinery project, Shinde said that then chief minister Uddhav Thackeray had written a letter to prime minister Narendra Modi, asking him to set up a refinery project in this area for the interest of people’s development with showing green signal for the project but now started opposing for the project, he raised question if any settlement occurred in that time while giving green signal after cancellation at Nanar.

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He said that opposition parties had also opposed for Samrudhi highway, which now became as game changer for the state, he alleged that opposition parties taking double standard role in such development project.

Barsu Solgaon Refinery Project

The ₹3 lakh crore project would be the largest single location refinery complex in the world a capacity of 60 million tonnes- and it Indian consortium consisting of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) that signed an agreement with Saudi Arabian Oil Co. (Saudi Aramco) for setting up India’s largest refinery and petroleum complex.

The Shinde-Fadnavis government has deployed at least two thousand police forces in Barsu-Solgaon. Apart from this, hundreds of protesters have been arrested by the police.

110 villagers arrested

A political controversy has erupted in the state over the proposed oil refinery project at Barsu-Solgaon in Ratnagiri district. The Shinde-Fadnavis government has completed the survey work for the refinery with heavy police presence. But even after that, the villagers of Barsu-Solgaon protested and continued to oppose the refinery. The administration has conducted a soil survey for the oil refinery under strict police security. Also, the police have arrested as many as 110 villagers, who were opposing the oil refinery. The Mahavikas Aghadi has accused the Shinde-Fadnavis government of oppressing the Konkani people.

Villagers opposition construction of the refinery protesting at the site

The project was earlier to be held in Nanar village in Ratnagiri. But the location of the project was changed due to opposition from the villagers. The then government had shifted the oil refinery project to Barsu-Solgaon in Rajapur taluka. However, local citizens of Rajapur started opposing the refinery project there as well. Satyajit Chavan and Mangesh Chavan, leaders of the anti-oil refinery movement, have been granted bail on the condition that they do not enter Ratnagiri district for 15 days.

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Shiv Sena MLA Rajan Salvi from Rajapur has supported the Barsu-Solgaon oil refinery project in Ratnagiri. But local MP Vinayak Raut, MP Sanjay Raut and former Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray have criticized the Shinde-Fadnavis government by opposing the oil refinery. So now the villagers of Barsu-Solgaon have taken a stand to oppose the oil refinery without any political support.

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