Ramesh: I’m not delaying projects | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Ramesh: I’m not delaying projects

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh, criticised for delaying infrastructure projects over green clearance, hit back at one of the complainants — the National Highways Authority of India — on Wednesday.

delhi Updated: Apr 01, 2010 01:41 IST
Chetan Chauhan

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh, criticised for delaying infrastructure projects over green clearance, hit back at one of the complainants — the National Highways Authority of India — on Wednesday.

He said the “NHAI has cut a lot of trees” to construct highways and its track record on reforestation is not “good”.

This comes on the heels of road transport minister Kamal Nath writing to the PM, accusing Ramesh’s ministry of delaying highway projects.

The environment ministry allows the cutting of trees for projects on condition that the project proponent plants a certain number of trees elsewhere.

“The criticism that there is delay is baseless,” Ramesh said. He said his ministry gave environment and forest clearance to 95 and 85 per cent projects, respectively, and should in fact “increase rejection rate”.