Jairam delaying Mumbai airport, says Praful
Environment minister Jairam Ramesh is once again in the line of fire of his cabinet colleagues.
Aviation minister Praful Patel has said Ramesh's green zeal is delaying the Navi Mumbai airport and that he is being "overly obsessive".
The environment ministry has said airport construction would damage mangrove cultivation in the 2,000 hectare area and the aviation ministry has no plan to minimise the loss.
"Under coastal management zone rules, no airport is allowed close to a coast. Planning for the airport should have taken this into account," said a ministry official.
Patel is not the only minister miffed with Ramesh.
Coal minister Sri Prakash Jaiswal has accused Ramesh of delaying forest clearance for mining projects, especially a project in Chattisgarh that has been kept waiting for nine years.
According to Jaiswal, degradation of forests in coal mining areas is due to increase in population and not mining.
Ramesh's ministry has countered that claim, saying green cover has improved where tribals live.