White paper on tsunami non-utilised funds demanded

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Puducherry, Feb 23 (UNI) Several coastal and enviromental organisations today demanded a white paper from the Tamil Nadu and Puducherry Governments on tsunami non-utilised funds and on the plans of the Government on how to spend it.

Several organisations under the banner 'coalition for the Livelihood Rights of the Coastal Communities Tamil Nadu and Puducherry' demanded that the Government should not use the remaining funds for any purpose other than building long term assets for the coastal communities.

In a joint statement here, they urged the Centre not to implement mega projects that would affect the livelihood of the coastal and other people. They also wanted the Government to strictly implement Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) notification of 1991 and drop Coastal Management Zone plan, as they felt that the fishing communities, agrarian communities and the unorganised labourers along the coast would severly be affected by the proposal.

''This is a plot to hand over the coast to the corporate sector,'' they added. They also urged the Government to set up a separate Ministry for water and water resource protection and involve local communities through this Ministry for protecting water resources.

Demands such as dropping of the Sethu Samudram Shipping Channel project and provision of compensation to the affected fishermen, an inquiry into the floating of dead fish at Thuthukudi and an end to the direct release of industrial effluents into the sea were putforth by them.

UNI PAB GKT RL AS1549

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