Amid protests by a section of locals at Barsu in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district over a proposed oil refinery, senior Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) leader Ajit Pawar on Saturday said one should ensure that development projects do not cause any damage to the environment.
A section of residents in and around Barsu have been opposing the proposed refinery as they fear that the mega project will adversely affect the fragile biodiversity of the coastal Konkan region and also hit their livelihood. On Friday, as tempers ran high among protesters, the police used tear gas to disperse them.
Talking about the issue, Pawar, who is Leader of Opposition in Maharashtra Assembly, said, ”We never opposed development projects in the state…Before implementing any projects, one should keep in mind that the environment is not harmed due to it in any manner. Apart from nature, local occupations like fishing should not be impacted due to it.” He urged the Maharashtra government to hold discussions with all the stakeholders and find the best possible way out.
On Friday, CM Shinde said the proposed refinery project will not be implemented without the local people’s consent.