NCP chief Sharad Pawar unwell, to postpone visit to oil refinery site in Maharashtra’s Nanar
The Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) chief Sharad Pawar is unlikely to visit Nanar in Ratnagiri district on May 10, where an oil refinery is set to come up, as he is unwell and has been advised bed rest. Pawar, 77, has cancelled all his travel plans for the next 10 days.
“The NCP chief has hurt his foot and has been advised by doctors to take complete rest for 10 days,” said Supriya Sule, Pawar’s daughter and NCP MP from Baramati constituency.
Seemingly, Pawar’s visit to Nanar in Konkan region is likely to be postponed. Pawar wanted to visit Nanar to understand the concerns of locals, who are opposing the refinery project.
Pawar was in Pune on Sunday to chair the party’s executive committee meeting, held to complete its internal election process. He was to return to Mumbai after the meeting, but stayed back in Pune at his doctor’s advice.
“He has had blood circulation issues in his legs for quite some time, making it difficult for him to walk. But now, doctors have advised him bed rest,” said a senior NCP leader, requesting anonymity.
Pawar is expected to stay in Pune for at least 10 days, the leader said, adding the veteran leader has cancelled all scheduled visits and meetings. There are indications he may ask senior leaders such as Sule or Ajit Pawar to visit the site on his behalf, a senior party functionary said.
Nanar is likely to turn into a major political issue as political parties including the Shiv Sena, Congress, NCP and Maharashtra Navnirman Sena have opposed the project. Locals are opposing the project, stating their mango orchards and other agriculture-based activities will be badly affected by it. Recently, locals had met Pawar seeking his support.
On April 11, a consortium comprising three major Indian oil companies – IOCL, BPCL and HPCL – signed an MoU with Saudi Arabian Oil Co for setting up an integrated oil refinery and petroleum products complex at Nanar in Ratnagiri off the Konkan coast. The ₹3-trillion complex at Nanar will be one of the world’s biggest oil refinery projects with a capacity to process 60 million tonnes annually.
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