Rosaiah takes on Ramesh over stalled projects
Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K Rosaiah are engaged in a war of words over the ministry's decision to suspend four projects in the state. Chetan Chauhan reports.delhi Updated: Aug 05, 2010 00:15 IST
Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister K. Rosaiah are engaged in a war of words over the ministry's decision to suspend four projects in the state.
The ministry took the decision after allegations that the projects were being developed on wetlands.
The ministry had suspended environment clearance to three power projects and an aluminum project in the state last Friday on the ground of alleged violation of Forest Conservation Act.
The action was taken following a report by a ministry panel. It says clearance was obtained on basis of irregular wetland maps and forest area description.
"The clearance has been suspended till further investigation is conducted," Ramesh, a Rajya Sabha member from AP, said.
Rosaiah hit back saying the ministry should not hold back approvals due to protests by green activists and private groups.
"The 20,000 MW of proposed power projects in the state have necessary environment clearances but now various NGOs/private interest groups are raising issues adversely affecting some of these," he said in a letter addressed to Ramesh.
"I am sure that you will kindly ensure that necessary steps are taken by your ministry that clearances accorded following due process are not interfered with in any manner merely based on certain presumptive petitions," he wrote on July 29.
The ministry decision is also said to be fallout of police firing on villagers in Srikakulam district over a power project by Nagarjuna Construction Limited in Sompeta and National Environment Appellate Authority quashing the ministry's clearance to the project.
The authority had found the project will destroy local ecology and was obtained based on identifying wetland as wasteland.