Resisting a refinery
Opposition mounts against a proposed gigantic refinery that threatens to affect the lives of thousands of families of farmers and fishermen in 17 villages in the Konkan region of Maharashtra.
THE rain beating down on the Konkan coastline makes it difficult to see anything much. Through sheets of rain on the landward side you get glimpses of entire orchards swaying wildly in the wind, of fields and red-tiled roofs in the hamlets. On the seaward side boats are pulled way up on to the beaches that wear the forlorn look of a rain-swept landscape. The waves sweep in with the tide with all the force of the open sea behind them. This is rural Ratnagiri. But, if the government has its way, all these picture-postcard images will be a thing of the past and the fields and orchards will be torn up to make way for a mega petrochemicals project.
Largest, biggest, mega—the newly formed Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd (RRPCL) is described only in superlatives. It would be among the six largest re- fineries in the world. The world’s biggest oil producer, Saudi Arabian Oil Company, or Saudi Aramco, is a partner in its development. Abu Dhabi National Oil Company (ADNOC), the other partner, is the twelfth largest producer in world rankings. The project itself, with its proposed capacity of more than 1.2 million barrels of oil a day and 18 million tonnes of petrochemicals a year, falls in the category of a mega
IN MARCH 2018 AT AZAD MAIDAN proposed refinery at Ratnagiri. in Mumbai, a protest by the Konkan Refinery Virodhi Sangharsh Samiti against the