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Athirappilly: A.K. Balan hopeful
Thursday, 29 April 2010 14:21Kerala Electricity Minister A.K. Balan has said a big conspiracy has been going on against the proposed 163 MW hydro-electric project at Athirappilly in Thrissur district, but the State is hopeful of surmounting the difficulties. In a press release on Friday, he said the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) had presented before an expert appraisal committee of the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests its reply to the objections certain environmental groups had raised against the project.
Mr. Balan said the expert appraisal committee had met in New Delhi on Thursday in the light of the KSEB's reply. Media reports suggested that the committee could find no substance in the objections against the project. However, the committee had not taken a decision as yet. It had asked the KSEB to submit certain details regarding the biodiversity of the area that would be submerged with the setting up of the project, he said. Mr. Balan charged Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh with the impropriety of unilaterally announcing that his Ministry would cancel the environmental clearance given earlier for the project. Mr. Ramesh did this even before the setting up of the expert committee that was now examining the validity of the objections against the project.
But the Ministry took the position that the clearance given after observing all the legal procedures could not be cancelled just like that. It, therefore, issued a notice to the KSEB to show reasons why the clearance should not be withdrawn in the light of the objections raised by certain organisations.
Source- Hindu 29-04-2010