Konkan region has always resisted mega projects

When Nanar super refinery project was scrapped, it made its place in the list of mega projects that have seen opposition from Maharashtra’s coastal Konkan region.

Two other projects that have witnessed a similar opposition are Dabhol power project and Jaitapur nuclear power project.

As far as the Dabhol plant was concerned, it was formed in 1992 when the Congress government was in power in the state. The Dabhol plant was built by the combined effort of Enron, GE, and Bechtel.

GE provided the generating turbines, Bechtel constructed the physical plant, and Enron was charged with managing the project through Enron International.

From 1992-2001, the project had seen many controversies. Thereafter, the power plant ran into trouble due to a scandal leading to the bankruptcy of Enron.

It may be recalled that the late BJP leader Gopinath Munde, vowed to “throw the Enron project into the Arabian Sea,” however, in 1995 when the Shiv Sena-BJP saffron alliance government came to power and Munde became the deputy chief minister, things changed.

Rebecca Mark, the former head of Enron International, a subsidiary of Enron, had also met Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thackeray to discuss the project that was seeing opposition.

In 2005, it was taken over and revived by converting it into the RGPPL, which is a joint venture of NTPC Ltd, GAIL and the government of Maharashtra.

It’s three power blocks supply a combined 1,967 MW of electricity to the Western Grid.

The Jaitapur nuclear park of the Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd (NPCIL) was one of the ambitious plans of the then Congress-led UPA government headed by Manmohan Singh.

The NDA government led by Narendra Modi continued with it. However, the plant had been opposed by locals and political parties including the Shiv Sena.

In April, 2011, a youth died in police firing during the protests in Madban-Jaitapur. The project aims at installing 6 units of 1,650 MW power capacity the total capacity being 9,900 MW making it the biggest nuclear power complex in the world.

It was planned in collaboration with the French company Areva. It has now been taken over by Electricite De France (EDF). The total project cost would be around Rs 1 trillion.

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Konkan region has always resisted mega projects

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