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Maharashtra CM says Barsu refinery work won’t start by force; promises people won’t face injustice

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The refinery plan in Barsu in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district will come up only after consent from the local population and not by force or through injustice, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said on Thursday.

Residents of Barsu in Rajapur tehsil in Ratnagiri, some 400 kilometres from Mumbai, have been opposing the setting up of a mega refinery-petrochemical complex at an estimated cost of several thousand crore rupees claiming it would destroy the ecology of the coastal region.

The Barsu site is an alternative to the one at Nanar, also in Ratnagiri in the state’s Konkan region.

“Under no situation will the Maharashtra government start the Barsu refinery project by subjecting people to injustice or through force and without consent of the people,” Shinde said.

Citing the Mumbai-Nagpur Samruddhi Expressway project, which faced initial opposition but has seen the Nagpur-Shirdi leg commissioned, Shinde said all stakeholders will be taken into confidence at Barsu, adding that many people there are already supporting the plan.

“We have undertaken boring and soil testing procedures etc. We are not immediately starting the Barsu project,” Shinde added.


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