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Special status not included in Act: Prakash Javadekar

Special status not included in Act: Prakash Javadekar
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Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar made it clear that issue of special status was not incorporated in the AP Reorganisation Act and henceforth cannot be granted to the State.  Speaking to press persons here on Monday, he refuted the allegation that the BJP had gone back on its promise, when scribes raised the issue.

Anantapur: Union Minister for Environment and Forests Prakash Javadekar made it clear that issue of special status was not incorporated in the AP Reorganisation Act and henceforth cannot be granted to the State. Speaking to press persons here on Monday, he refuted the allegation that the BJP had gone back on its promise, when scribes raised the issue. He skirted the issue when scribes pointed to him that no less than Prime Minister Narendra Modi had promised the same during the election campaign.

While highlighting that there were no scams under the current government, he said there was no shortage of coal in the country and all thermal power plants have coal stocks for 21 days. There is also no shortage of urea too in the country, he added. He said the Environment Ministry was now clearing permits within 190 days, unlike the previous UPA regime which had taken two years for the same.“In future clearances would be given within 100 days,” he assured.

He said his Ministry had facilitated de-notifying reserve forest lands for Amaravati capital by allowing diversion of forest lands for the new capital. He also assured to end the 30-year old problems relating to Kolleru lake and the farmers issues soon. The Union Minister further revealed that five irrigation projects of the State, and Rayalaseema region in particular, were given environment clearance, including the Handri Neeva and Telugu Ganga projects.

He also revealed that environmental clearances were given to all pending power projects of AP including the 800 MW super critical thermal power project in Vijayawada. In an interaction with intellectuals in a separate meeting, he said that Rs 42,000 crore had remained unspent by various States on afforestation and the same was being released to the States to undertake massive drive for bringing down the timber imports of the country.

Replying to a question on the NDA government's failure in bringing back the black money stashed away in Swiss banks, he said: “The Prime Minister is first trying to curtail black money in the country, and has succeeded in retrieving Rs 5,000 crore from within the country. First black money issue will be tackled on the home front and later on foreign soil.”

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