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Jaya wants eco notification withdrawn
May 08, 2003 17:09 IST
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday demanded that the recent notification by the Union Forests and Environment ministry, taking away the powers of the state governments to approve projects over five crore rupees in coastal areas be withdrawn.
In identical letters to President A P J Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and Deputy Prime Minister Lal Kishenchand Advani, she said the notification 'cut at the very roots and foundations of the federal structure of the country'.
The All-India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam government had alleged it was issued only to stop it constructing a new secretariat in place of the existing Queen Mary's college.
Earlier on Monday Jayalalithaa had alleged that the notification was the 'brain child' of Union Environment Minister T R Baalu and was issued out of 'personal vengeance' against her.
In her letter on Thursday, she said it was most 'disconcerting and troubling that the environment ministry, suo motu with no ostensible cause for action', had summarily withdrawn the powers of the state given by the same ministry in 1997 after consultation with the states.
"It brings to the fore the whole question whether regulatory powers on development can be examined in such an arbitrary and extraordinary manner totally devoid of consultation with the state," she said.
Jayalalithaa said the environment ministry, 'for reasons unconnected' with the issues of relevance to coastal zone regulation, had arbitrarily exercised power with no relevance or connection to the past history of Centre-state relationship on the subject.
She said the 1997 notification was issued after due consultations with the states, which conferred absolute powers on the states to regulate developments in urban areas categorised as the coastal regulation zone II.
More reports from Tamil Nadu
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