Special Correspondent

Sethu project will wreck the environment of Gulf of Mannar, say local body chiefs

CHENNAI: A State-level consultation of panchayat presidents on their struggle against destructive development and for protection of environment, has called for amending the Tamil Nadu Panchayat Act, 1994, to give absolute powers to the panchayats over the environment and natural resources.

The participants here on Saturday urged the Prime Minister and the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests to withdraw the clearance granted to the Sethusamudram project which they said would "irretrievably destroy the environment of the Gulf of Mannar and harm the interests of the traditional fishing sector and destroy more than 2,600 species of marine life." They pledged support to local-and district-level environment activists up against the project.

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