Jaya Defends Decision To Seek Pvt Funds For Wasteland Development

Chennai, January 28: | Updated: Jan 29 2003, 05:30am hrs
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa said the wasteland development scheme would succeed only if the corporate houses came forward to invest on such lands.

"We cannot expect the Central government to entirely fund the scheme under which nearly 20 lakh hectares of wastelands are proposed to be given to corporate houses. We do not have money to provide agricultural inputs to these lands," She told the state Assembly on Tuesday.

Pointing out that the Centre was already extending financial assistance to such wasteland development schemes, she said her government was not averse to seeking more help.

"We had already utilised the fund given by the Centre and we will be approaching the Centre for further funds. But we cannot expect the Centre to give complete funding," she said defending the government decision to seek the private sector help.

Ms Jayalalithaa also said that the state government was seeking legal advice on holding talks with the Kerala government on the Bhavani dam issue.

She said Kerala Chief Minister A K Antony had written to her expressing his willingness to sort out the issue arising out of his government's decision to construct a dam across the Bhavani.

The Tamil Nadu government had already lodged a complaint with the Cauvery disputes tribunal on the matter and any talks between her and Mr Antony should not prejudice the proceedings of the tribunal, she said, adding her government had sought legal opinion on talking to the Kerala Chief Minister.

On the Cauvery problem, she said she had not talked to Karnataka Chief Minister SM Krishna as the Supreme Court had stated that any talks on the Cauvery issue should be held only under the banner of the Cauvery River Authority.