Chennai: Providing more decibels to the cadence of charges levelled on the TN government by his Cabinet colleague Piyush Goyal in taking on Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa and her ministers, Union minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar accused the state government of working against the interest of its people by preventing the benefits of the Centre’s welfare schemes from reaching them.
He also blamed the government for being inactive over a proposal on demarcating the eco-sensitive areas (ESA) of the Western Ghats. “Five states located along the Western Ghats – Maharashtra, Karnataka, Goa, Gujarat and Kerala – have submitted their recommendations (to retain only 20,000 sq km as ESA and release the rest 36,285 sq.km for development). But Tamil Nadu is yet to submit its report. This is not good attitude. We want good governance. Modi’s government believes in cooperative federalism,” he said.
(If the project gets underway, nearly 60 per cent of the ESA, protected area of the Western Ghats, also known as water tower of peninsular India, will be thrown open for development and commercial projects).
Mr Javadekar, who is in-charge of TN BJP affairs, claimed “such attitude exhibited by the government” would only result in effecting sufferings upon people. This was not the only case, the minister who was in the city on Thursday told reporters, that the government and its ministers have made controversy over the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana (UDAY) scheme. “Let my put the facts straight by throwing more light on the subject. UDAY improves efficiency of power sector, ensures turnaround of revenue, control losses, ensure 247 quality power supply to the people besides prevent power pilferage,” he said.
Though 18 states including those ruled by the Congress and other parties have signed the MoU, only TN had not come forward to implement this scheme which would help save Rs 1.80 lakh crore for India.
“TN government does not want the people of Tamil Nadu to be benefited. It is not interested in honest power consumers to benefit but is interested only helping those pilferaging power,” he stated.
Already 9 crore households across the country have benefited through the scheme which provides 7 V LED bulb at Rs.200 for the people and Rs.100 to the government as against Rs. 400 in the open market. “This shows TN wants those stealing power and those making profits from the high cost of the bulbs, to benefit,” Mr Javadekar charged.
We are not criticising AIADMK for poll mileage: Javadekar
Refuting an allegation that the Central ministers trained their guns on the ruling AIADMK with an eye on the Assembly election, Union minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar said his party has been highly critical of both the AIADMK and the DMK.
“I want to put the facts straight. BJP stands for overall development and corruption-free governance in Tamil Nadu. Piyush Goyal did not mount an attack on the AIADMK government but explained his position. Anyway Goyal would be visiting Chennai he will have more to say on this,” Mr Javadekar told reporters here on Thursday.
In a lighter vein he remarked, “I will not tell him that he is in great demand here. Then he may immediately rush to Chennai… he will explain everything when he comes.” His party has been highly critical of both the Dravidian majors who have “destroyed Tamil Nadu and failed to render justice to the people.”
Mr Javadekar who earlier chaired the BJP’s central committee meeting at Kamalalayam – BJP state headquarters here to discuss the alliance strategy for the May 16 Assembly election, said a clear picture on the BJP-led NDA’s alliance would emerge in a couple of days.
On the attempt to revive ties with DMDK and PMK, he said while PMK displayed its political ambition, Vijayakanth’s DMDK wanted to align with PWA while Vaiko had walked out of NDA long ago. Whichever way the parties aligned, the BJP never considered any party as its enemy but saw them only as competitors, he added.
We will throttle sand mafia, says Union Minister
The Centre has put in place a foolproof mechanism to prevent the over commercial exploitation of sand across the country with sustainable sand mining policy notified 50 days ago, Union minister of state for environment Prakash Javadekar has said.
The policy, he said, allows mining of sand by states only after the completion of satellite mapping of the resource. “The aim is to prevent the sand mafia from illegally mining this natural resource. This is a revolutionary policy, which we have brought.. we will end sand mafia,” he said while talking to reporters here on Thursday.
Among suggestions is introducing barcode for trucks to keep tab on the vehicles used for excavation. “It was found that licenses are obtained for 12 trucks but 100 trucks are used by contractors to excavate the sand from the mining area. The barcode system will eliminate this problem,” he said and added that his ministry proposed to hold a national seminar for department officials and sensitise them on the new policy.