Barmer residents, led by Pachpadra Refinery Sangharsh Samiti, on Sunday organised a ‘sadbuddhi yajna’ to protest the delay in setting up of proposed refinery at Pachpadra.
Congress national president Sonia Gandhi had laid the foundation stone for `37,230 crore refinery project at Pachpadra in the district on September 22, 2012. At the time of its inauguration, it was claimed that construction work of the refinery project will be completed in a year, but there is little progress at the site.
The Barmer refinery was an ambitious project of the previous Gehlot government, which had given many concessions to the Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL), the company entrusted with the job of developing the refinery. But after change in the government, the BJP-led government has halted the project in the name of review.
Recently, there were reports that HPCL officials will meet the state government officials regarding the project, but the meeting has yet not been decided.
Angry over the delay in refinery work, Barmer residents have decided to resort to agitation. “We have requested the government to start the refinery work at the earliest,” said Jaisal Singh, president, Pachpadra Refinery Sangharsh Samiti.
He said thousands of people of the district and nearby areas hope that the refinery project would lead to development in their area. In this hope, they have invested huge sums in land and other sectors. “Now, if the project will be scrapped or shifted, it would not only break the hopes of thousands of people, but also apply breaks on the developmental process in the area,” said Singh.
He alleged that the state government was delaying the project to “benefit” Reliance Industries. Former Congress MP Harish Choudhary also had levelled similar allegations. “If the government will not take action, we will start an indefinite agitation,” warned the Pachpadra Refinery Sangharsh Samiti president.