Nagpur: In a statement made a month ago, Dharmendra Pradhan, Minister for Oil & Natural Gas, GoI, had expressed his intention of the Ministry setting up a refinery in Konkan, the west coast of Maharashtra.
The Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) is glad that Maharashtra has been considered. However, while VED understands the rationale behind this move, and is in consonance with the decision of the Ministry for setting it up in Konkan, it is also concerned why Vidarbha has been ignored, especially considering that this issue of the setting up of a refinery in Vidabha makes good sense and has been pursued by VED consistently for 2-3 years with the Ministry of Oil & Natural Gas.
Since Maharashtra was being considered, it was in order to see a refinery initiated in Vidarbha which would make excellent sense logistically, this being the centre of India. Currently, a huge amount is wasted on the procurement of petroleum products through the refinery at Chembur which caters to this region. Since generations Vidarbha has been paying on logistics for petro-products and now this must stop. Such a refinery would also generate employment opportunities since a lot of downstream products could be manufactured. It would give a boost to agriculture due to reduced cost of petroleum products. It will support the rural economy presently dependent on agriculture which is causing farmers’ suicide.
Also, it would be capable of catering to a very large area including Vidarbha, Marathwada, southern Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh as well as Telangana. Besides, this, large-scale job-creation is also possible with this project as a minimum 2 lakh people will get direct and indirect advantage.
At present, the entire Vidarbha region is dependent on petroleum products coming from long distances by road and rail with the cost passed on to their consumers. This has resulted in very high priced petrol and diesel, along with all the other products used by individuals and industrial consumers, informed Devendra Parekh, President, Vidarbha Economic Development Council (VED) and continued to say that VED has conducted a detailed study of a large refinery in Vidarbha region which can help to reduce the backlog of Vidarbha in terms of jobs and development.
Pradeep Masheshwari, Jt. Secretary, VED and Strategist – Natural Resources, informed that recently, GAIL (Gas Authority of India Ltd.) and GSPC (Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation) has to the ‘Right of Way’ permissions to lay a large CNG pipeline passing through Vidarbha. This will create many opportunities where LPG from the refinery for household use and CNG from pipe-line for industrial use can help the region grow rapidly.
With a large refinery in this region the Govt. can have huge savings in monetary terms, presently being incurred to feed this area. This area can get a better price and the Govt. would have huge savings as national losses would be reduced in this way.
Recently CM and Minister of Highways announced six-laned expressway between Mumbai and Nagpur. With this construction and laying of crude pipeline will become much easier with good income for NHAI for giving rights of way.
Refinery output mostly used for different industries like road construction, aviation, textiles, polymers and different types of petroleum products used for various applications. All these products are coming from a long distance. With this refinery, a lot of national losses can be saved with local industries being more competitive.
The Railways carrying petroleum products moving one way is burdening to the Railways. With a crude pipeline, there would be a lot of savings to the national exchequer. 25 millions refineries can save minimum Rs. 5000 cr. from the present costs being incurred now on a recurring basis.
Land at Umred NIMZ, identified by MIDC, can be used for this refinery & petrochemical project with proximity to Nagpur. As promised at the elections by BJP, this project can clear a maximum investment and employment backlog and also savings to every household.
A Vidarbha refinery is also important in view of national security as against a coastline project and is a safeguard against natural disasters. This would also give a boost to the Make in India initiative due to the flow of downstream industries coming in its wake.
VED looks forward to this initiative to be established in Vidarbha by the Ministry of Oil & Natural Gas.