Friday, April 23, 2010

Hydel project: Kerala Minister alleges `conspiracy\'

TPURAM: A Kerala Minister has alleged there was conspiracy behind the move to deny clearance to proposed Athirappally hydel project in Thrissur district after Union Environment Ministry sought fresh explanation from the State Electricity board (KSEB) on the areas biodiversity.

In a statement here,Electricity Minister A K Balan on Friday said he had sent letters to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, seeking their intervention on the issue.

Balan alleged that Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh had been making unilateral statements that his ministry had decided not to clear the project.

The Expert Appraisal Committees letter to KSEB saying more studies should be conducted on the biodiversity of the region itself shows that no final decision has been taken by the Ministry on the issue, Balan said.

Even before the Expert Committees decision, the Union Minister had instructed the Ministry to cancel the earlier clearance given to the project during the previous UPA rule, citing reports of NGOs and Environmental fora, he said.

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