Rahul Gandhi set to meet Maharashtra panel opposing Nanar refinery on Saturday
A Congress delegation that had visited the proposed site and met villagers last week, have submitted a ground report to the state unit chief Ashok Chavan.Updated: Apr 26, 2018 11:31 IST
The Konkan Anti-Refinery Action Committee, representing farmers opposed to the oil refinery project proposed at Nanar in Ratnagiri, will meet Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Saturday in New Delhi. The state unit of Congress has announced that it will convene a meeting at Nanar next week.
A Congress delegation that had visited the proposed site and met villagers last week, have submitted a ground report to the state unit chief Ashok Chavan. The report has pressed for the need to scrap the project, which they claim will not only cause environmental damage but also dislocate hundreds of inhabitants from 16 neighbouring villages. The project calls for felling of 6 crore trees, including 12 lakh Alphonso mango trees and 6.5 lakh cashew trees, in the area, says the report.
The report will be submitted to Gandhi, seeking his support against the refinery project.
“Congress in Maharashtra has opposed the Nanar refinery project and announced support to our agitation. We want a similar assurance from Rahul Gandhi at the national level, so that even in case of the change in guard at the Centre, there would be no turnaround on the project” said Ashok Walam, who heads the committee.
Walam added that no political party will be allowed to hijack the protest led by the committee.
Congress MP Hussain Dalwai, who headed the party delegation at Nanar last week, said, “The entire tehsil is against the project. About 3,000 houses from 16 villages will have to relocate.”
Villagers raised questions about the party’s stand on the nuclear power at Jaitapur, located close to the project site. “The then Congress government had pushed for the Jaitapur project, to which the villagers had opposed tooth and nail about a decade ago. We appeal the Congress to join us in opposing it too,” read a letter written to the Congress by Janhakka Seva Samiti.
Face-off in Mumbai
Workers of Maharashtra Swabhiman Party, led by former chief minister and BJP MP Narayan Rane, created ruckus at a press conference on Wednesday called to support the refinery project at Nanar. The Refinery Project Bachao Samiti, led by Ajaysinh Sengar, had convened a press conference at Mumbai Marathi Patrakar Sangh in support of the project. As soon as the conference commenced, MSP workers began shouting slogans at the press conference against the committee, forcing them to call it off.