Oil refinery vs alphonso mango: Nanar farmers in Maharashtra fight to save fruit of labour
There is a battle brewing in 16 villages across Ratnagiri and Sindhudurg, which will be affected by the mega oil and petroleum refinery project expected to come up in Nanar, around 400km south of Mumbai. The reason: Cultivation of the world famous Alphonso man While goes, which forms the economic backbone for most of the families, may die a slow death owing to the project.
Cultivators claim 12.30 lakh mango trees will be felled for the refinery, the government’s estimates – 60,720 trees in 14 villages in Ratnagiri – are a fraction of the possible destruction, they say.
The fishing community, too, is not happy with the refinery. At Ingalwadi village, on the banks of Vijaydurg creek, the community claims 850 families stand to get affected as eight pipelines from the refinery are likely to pass through the area.
The state authorities, on the other hand, have said that the fears are unfounded.
The Nanar project is a joint venture between a consortium of three Indian oil companies — IOC, BPCL and HPCL — and oil giant Saudi Aramco. A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between Aramco and the Indian consortium on April 13. The project is expected to generate one lakh jobs and bring in investment of up to Rs1 lakh crore. When completed by 2022, the Rs3-trillion complex at Nanar – West Coast Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited – will be the world’s biggest single-location oil refinery project with a capacity to process 60 million tonnes annually.