Nanar villagers welcome CM Uddhav's move to drop cases

Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray. (PTI photo)

Hours after Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray ordered a withdrawal of cases against protestors at Nanar, the locals welcomed the order. 

The Rs 3-lakh-crore Nanar super refinery project in Ratnagiri district of coastal Konkan region has been a flashpoint between the Shiv Sena and the BJP,  even though they were in government together between 2014-19 and contested the Lok Sabha and Vidhan Sabha polls together.

The proposed sanctioning of the Nanar project, its scrapping, and attempts of its revival have left the locals of Nanar in complete uncertainty. 

Also read — Maha CM drops cases against Nanar protestors

"I had earlier ordered withdrawing of cases against those who were protesting against Aarey car shed project, now I have withdrawn cases against those who had protested against Nanar project," Thackeray said.

While Thackeray was vehemently opposed to the project, two-time former chief minister Devendra Fadnavis favoured it. Moreover, the execution was directly being handled at the level of the PMO.

Groups like Konkan Vinashkari Prakalp Virodhi Samiti and Konkan Refinery Virodhi Sangharsh Sanghatana were opposed to the Nanar project.

"We are very happy that you (CM Uddhav Thackeray) have dropped cases against 23 protestors of Aarey and 23 protestors of Nanar," said Omkar Ulhas Prabhudesai, the Sarpanch of Nanar.

The Nanar project involved an Indian consortium consisting of Indian Oil Corporation (IOC), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Ltd (BPCL) and Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd (HPCL) that signed an MoU with Saudi Arabian Oil Co (Saudi Aramco) for setting up India's largest refinery and petroleum complex. 

The Nanar project would have been the largest single-location refinery complex in the world with a capacity of 60 million tonnes.

In May 2017, the government had issued a notification to acquire 5,932 hectares of land across 14 villages in Ratnagiri and two villages in Sindhudurg. Several Gram Panchayats in the proposed project area had passed resolutions that they do not want the project.

During the Lok Sabha polls, the project was scrapped as part of the deal between the BJP and Sena but ahead of Vidhan Sabha polls, Fadnavis indicated that the project could be revived. 

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