The Environment ministry has put on hold the Rs 150-billion Vedanta University in Orissa following complaints of irregularities by Anil Aggarwal Foundation, the developer of the university.
The ministry had given conditional environment clearance to the university a month ago. Among the 50 conditions imposed was mandatory public hearing and inviting public objections to the project.
In the April 16 clearance, the Ministry had banned the Foundation from withdrawing ground water, restricting local fishermen from fishing and constructing in the Coastal Regulation Zone (CRZ) area.
On Tuesday, the ministry headed by Jairam Ramesh, decided to keep its order in abeyance till the ministry takes final decision on the issue.
“This ministry has received information alleging inter alia irregularities, illegal, unethical and unlawful deeds by Anil Aggarwal Foundation. Serious objections were raised during Orissa Coastal Zone Management Authority meeting, which have not been appropriately considered in granting the clearance,” the order issued on Tuesday said.
The ministry has directed Vedanta Foundation not to do any construction or development work till a detailed examination of issues raised in the complaint is done by the ministry’s Expert Appraisal Committee.
The multi-disciplinary Vedanta University is proposed to come up along Orissa’s Puri-Konark highway spread over 6,892 acres, of which 4,000 acres will be transferred by Orissa government to the Foundation.