The project, which was supposed to be implemented in the Ratnagiri district, has been halted due to local opposition and other factors.
In a letter dated March 12 to Thackeray and state industries minister Subhash Desai, Gadkari emphasised how the project’s relocation to Vidarbha (eastern Maharashtra) will benefit the state.
Union Minister Nitin Gadkari asked Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray to consider relocating a proposed 60 million metric tonnes per annum refinery and petrochemicals complex project from Ratnagiri to Vidarbha.
The project, which was to come up in the Ratnagiri district, is stalled due to opposition by local organizations and other reasons.
In a letter Gadkari highlighted how the shifting of the project to Vidarbha (eastern Maharashtra) will benefit the state.
The Union minister also included a request letter he had received from Vidarbha Economic Development Council vice president Pradip Maheshwari on the subject, and asked the CM to consider the points raised by the latter.
According to the VEDC, water charges, lease rentals, and maintenance charges (from the project) would provide long-term revenue to the state-run Maharashtra Industrial Development Corporation and Vidarbha Industrial Development Corporation, as well as help unlock the value of land in Butibori, Mihan, and other Nagpur areas.
VEDC pointed out that land prices currently are in the range of Rs 60 lakh per acre, substantial sums of money will be unlocked due to the sale of these plots as many petrochemicals- and derivative-based industries like paints, tyres, polyester, textiles, etc., would prefer to invest near a large refinery and petrochemical complex (RPC).
The shifting of RPC to Vidarbha will also provide the right of way (RoW) income to Maharashtra State Road Development Corporation, which is building the Mumbai-Nagpur Expressway, from a crude pipeline, and there will be a manifold increase in toll collection in the range of Rs 3,500-4000 crore due to the setting up of MSMEs nearby, the letter said.
The letter informed that current electricity generation in Vidarbha is approximately 18,000 MW, but usage stands at 3,500 MW, with the balance going to Pune, Mumbai and Aurangabad regions. This causes transmission losses of 15-22 per cent.
However, the increase in local power consumption will bring about reduction in losses by as much as Rs 3,000 crore, the letter said.
The project would also increase the state GST collections due to rise in consumption of steel, cement and polyester-based textiles, earning approximately Rs 4,000 crore to Maharashtra, the letter added.
An RPC in Vidarbha will also increase fuel sales as the region is close to borders of three states and prices will be cheaper by Rs 2 per litre, which in turn will help Maharashtra mop up larger VAT amounts, it said.
The letter also highlighted that a mega project of this scale would create five lakh jobs in Vidarbha, bringing the backward region on par with industrial areas like Pune and Aurangabad.