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Nanar oil refinery project could result in ‘toxic floods’, says eminent ecologist Gadgil at Pune public meet

A former member of the scientific advisory council to the Prime Minister and head of the western ghats ecology expert panel (WGEEP) of 2010, Gadgil, in 2011, had warned against damage to the environment across six states, including Kerala. Recently he had warned that after Kerala, if precautionary measures are not taken Goa and Konkan might face serious consequences.

pune Updated: Sep 05, 2018 16:42 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Pune
Pune,Nanar oil refinery project,toxic floods
Speaking at a public meet organised by Vanrai NGO, at Patrakar Bhavan, Gadgil spoke on various issues including the devastating floods in Kerala, industrial growth and the failure in implementing the environment law. (HT FILE PHOTO )

Even as the Nanar oil refinery project in Ratnagiri district has been facing a political row between the BJP and the Shiv Sena, eminent ecologist Madhav Gadgil on Tuesday cautioned that the mega project could worsen the pollution levels in Konkan given the prevailing high pollution caused by industries in the Konkan region. Speaking at a public meet organised by Vanrai NGO, at Patrakar Bhavan, Gadgil spoke on various issues including the devastating floods in Kerala, industrial growth and the failure in implementing the environment law.

A former member of the scientific advisory council to the Prime Minister and head of the western ghats ecology expert panel (WGEEP) of 2010, Gadgil, in 2011, had warned against damage to the environment across six states, including Kerala. Recently he had warned that after Kerala, if precautionary measures are not taken Goa and Konkan might face serious consequences.

When asked about it, he said, “Although Konkan is prone to flooding, my fear is not about the water flood but a toxic flood. The industries in Konkan have polluted the waters beyond permissible limits. The upcoming huge refinery and more such projects will bring a toxic flood to Konkan,” he said.

“Surprisingly, this has been clearly mentioned in a government report, which I fear has been suppressed by some. The State Pollution Control Board is doing nothing about it,” he added.

The Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Limited, a consortium of Indian Oil companies, signed a memorandum of understanding with Saudi oil giant Aramco for developing the project in April, even as Fadnavis had said the project would not move forward without taking the locals into confidence.

Gadgil also criticised the Lavasa project for violating the environment law.

About the floods in Kerala, he said that it appears to have been caused by the simultaneous release of water from the dams.

“They have built several dams at a great height and didn’t release the water until the water capacity went beyond control. To prevent the dams from breaking up, they discharged the water at a high rate and thus intensified the situation,” he added.

First Published: Sep 05, 2018 16:42 IST