Sena minister Ramdas Kadam opposes NDA's environment norms

Jan 18, 2015, 08:25 IST | Dharmendra Jore

Ramdas Kadam writes a protest letter to CM Fadnavis arguing that state’s powers to act against industry violations should not be curtailed

The Union Government’s recent move to amend norms for industries that seek environmental clearances has led to cracks in the state government. Senior Shiv Sena leader and environment minister Ramdas Kadam has strongly objected to the proposal that aims to facilitate investors. According to him, the state’s powers should be restored so that industries do not cause irreparable damage to the environment.

Ramdas Kadam

In a letter sent to all states on December 23, 2014, the Union Environment had said industries will not need mandatory consent-to-establish (CTE) certificates from state pollution control boards to seek power connections at their respective work/unit sites. The ministry has asked the state to review the compulsion where such certificates are mandatory so that doing business becomes easier.

Last month, the ministry started devising a mechanism under which industries couldself-certify and self-regulate their performance for air and water pollution so they are not subjected to inspection by state environmental authorities.

Kadam has objected to this change. He shot off a protest letter to CM Devendra Fadnavis on Friday, a copy of which is available with sunday mid-day. In the letter, Kadam argued that the state’s powers to inspect and take action in case of violations should not be curtailed. “Irreparable damage would be caused to the environment if state’s powers are taken away. It is state environment department’s job to protect and conserve environment,” he has said in the letter.

Kadam added that the process to transfer the state’s powers (to inspect and initiate action) would be completed by the end of January. He has asked Fadnavis to intervene. Sources close to Kadam said he was expected to seek party boss Uddhav Thackeray’s intervention in the matter. Recently, Kadam had openly opposed the Bharatiya Janata Party’s (BJP) resolve to construct a nuclear energy plant in Jaitapur. The Sena and BJP are divided over Jaitapur since the erstwhile United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government had initiated the concept. Despite repeated attempts, CM Fadnavis remained unavailable for comment.

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