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Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa today termed as "inappropriate" the Centre's proposal to conduct feasibility study on installing buoys on International Maritime Boundary Line as the state government has not accepted IMBL with Sri Lanka as a settled issue.
The proposal by Department of Boarder Management and Ministry of Home Affairs came up in the Inter-ministerial meeting on India-Sri Lankan Fishermen's issues, she said, adding, her government has filed a case in the Supreme Court "challenging the constitutionality" of ceding Katchatheevu islet to Sri Lanka, she said in a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
"The matter is still pending in the Supreme Court and will have a bearing on the location of the IMBL. Tamil Nadu government has not accepted the IMBL as a settled issue. Given that the issue is sub judice, it would neither be appropriate nor feasible to install buoys along the IMBL at this point of time", she said.
Jayalalithaa said that in her memorandum submitted to Modi during her meeting with him last month in New Delhi she had requested him to "retrieve" India's sovereignty over Katchatheevu, which was "unconstitutionally" and "illegally" ceded to Sri Lanka under Indo-Sri Lankan agreements in 1974 and 1976.
Jayalalithaa said she had requested in her memorandum to Modi for a comprehensive special package for diversification of fisheries at a cost of Rs 1,520 crore and a recurring grant of Rs 10 crore per annum for maintenance of dredging.
Referring to the fishermen-level talks held between the fishing communities from India and Lanka earlier, she said there was a "clear recognition" that fishing rights of the fishermen of the two countries could "co-exist" in the traditional fishing waters.
"This approach has also been deliberated upon in the Indo-Sri Lankan Joint Working Group on fisheries and it needs to be intensively pursued", she said.
"I do hope that the Inter-Ministerial Group would take note of the concerns raised by the Tamil Nadu Government and pursue further action to enable an appropriate long term solution to this sensitive issue", she said in the letter.