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.

FrontLine - - DEVELOPMENT ISSUES - BY LYLA BAVADAM

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

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