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Gujarat minister's "illegal" announcement: Invest in Vapi, Ankaleshwar, Vatva; Centre's moratorium ends

By Our Representative
Gujarat’s senior environmentalist and social activist Rohit Prajapati has complained to Prakash Javadekar, Union minister for environment, forests and climate change, and the ministry’s secretary Dr V Rajagopalan, that his Gujarat counterpart Ganpatbhai Vasava has “made an illegal announcement about the lifting of moratorium on industrial cluster Vapi, Ankleshwar and Vatva.” The moratorium, imposed by the former UPA government, bans any fresh investments in the three clusters along with tens of others in India, because of their high levels.
In his complaint, Prapapati, who heads Paryavaran Suraksha Samiti, Vadodara, said, “On July 5, 2014, Vasava announced in a public function organized by industries of the Vapi Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), in media presence, that the moratorium on Vapi is lifted and official announcement will follow soon. Vasava made a similar announcement for the industrial clusters of Ankleshwar and Vatva.”
Prajapati said, Vasava’s statement came despite the fact that the Union ministry “is the only one authorised to take decision to impose, reimpose or lift the moratorium of the industrial clusters of the country.” He added, “The ministry is again the only one authorised to publicly announce in general and to the press on its all decisions. Before any official announcement of the decision nobody has the right to leak or make any announcement like this.”
“If somebody makes an announcement about any decisions of the Union ministry, it is not just illegal but unconstitutional. Such an announcement by other than the ministry should be considered as unconstitutional and not as one that reflects transparency”, the environmentalist said, adding, “As per our information, the Union ministry has issued no notification/ letter/ communication about the lifting of the moratoriums on Vapi, Ankleshwar or Vatva.”
“We would like to confirm with you if any letter was sent by the Union ministry on or before July 5, 2014 that enabled/authorised Vasava or to the additional chief secretary of Gujarat’s forests and environment department to make the announcement in Gujarat regarding lifting of moratorium on the three industrial clusters on behalf of your ministry”, he said, adding, “If any such letter was sent, it should have been uploaded on your website.”
Suspecting that Vasava’s announcement may have been manoeuvred by the industrial lobby, Prajapati said, “The way announcement made by Vasava clearly indicates that he is not concerned about the environment but is working under the pressure of Industrial lobby of Gujarat and he and his government might be involved in manoeuvring the decision of the Union ministry to please the industrial lobby.”
Asking Javadekar “not tolerate such behaviour of any officers and the minister of any state government in the interest of environment”, Prajapati said, “If you do not do that it will send a wrong message to people in general that the Un.ion ministry’s decisions might be manoeuvred by the polluting default industries and it is meaningless to send the complain to the ministry about pollution in the country.”
Prajapati demanded, if no decision has been taken to lift the moratorium, “exemplary action” should be taken against Vasava. Lest, he added, “exemplary action” should be taken against the officers who leaked the information.

Comments

Anonymous said…
NGO should focus on their main subject. Environment protection in balance with development needed by india. They should not indulge into political brownie point game

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