Saturday, March 20, 2010

Jairam Ramesh used PMO to sabotage project: A.K. Balan

TPURAM: Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh tried to sabotage Keralas Athirappilly hydro-electric power project by invoking the Prime Ministers Office (PMO), state Electricity Minister A.K. Balan Saturday said and sought Prime Minister Manmohan Singhs intervention in the matter.

Balan, who through the Right to Information Act secured the copy of a note - written by Ramesh that he could not sanction the project as the PMs Principal Secretary T.K.A. Nair was opposed to it - alleged that the minister violated the constitutional norms by dragging the Prime Ministers Office in a project earlier cleared by the environmental expert appraisal committee.

The Kerala minister read out Rameshs note at a press conference here. Ramesh wrote, as Balan read out, said: Many people have spoken to me regarding this project and its deleterious consequences. T.K.A. Nair is one of them. I would like environment committee clearance revoked as soon as possible since Im very familiar with the project site.

Balan said the ministers note was corrected by his officials who went through the file.

A minister cannot unilaterally revoke the environmental clearance which has already been given by the expert appraisal committee. He is trying to sabotage the project, Balan said.

So, they decided to issue a show-cause notice to the Kerala government, Balan said.

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