U-turn by Maharashtra Navnirman Sena: Raj says revive Nanar to get jobs for locals
In a complete U-turn, Maharashtra Navnirman Sena (MNS) chief Raj Thackeray, has demanded revival of the refinery petrochemical project at Nanar in Ratnagiri, which was scrapped by the previous Fadnavis government in 2019 after all political parties other than the Bharatiya Janata Party opposed it. Raj has written a letter to his cousin and chief minister Uddhav Thackeray asking him to take steps for the ₹3-lakh crore project which, he said, has the ability to change the fate of the Konkan.
In his four-page letter written on Saturday, Raj said that owing to the pandemic-ensued lockdown, lakhs of Maharashtrian youth have lost their jobs and the project can provide a much-needed boost in the employment sector. Raj wrote, “The locals had opposed the project fearing they will lose out on their lands, the ecology will be affected and there were also concerns about temples. All these are justified concerns but we have to find a way out of this. The state government should take initiative to convince the local with the help of experts from the field.”
He further wrote that Maharashtra cannot afford to lose this project while referring to (without naming) American electric vehicle giant Tesla opting to set-up its office at Bengaluru and not Mumbai. He also wrote, “The government must try to make the locals understand. I know all political parties, including MNS, had opposed the project. However, times have changed now.”
He said that the government can sign an agreement with the company to provide jobs to the Marathi youth. He also said the government can make use of technology to minimise the damage caused to ecology. “MNS will extend full support to the state. We will also work on a development plan and submit it to the state,” he wrote.
Locals said they will continue to oppose the the project. “Raj Thackeray’s U-turn is surprising for us. MNS workers had vandalised refinery office in protest. We believe the CM is firm on his stand. The demand for the revival of the project is out of vested interests of the investors and business from Mumbai,” said Ashok Valam, president, Konkan Refinery Prakalp Virodhi Sangharsh Sanghatana.