Studies bar clearance for Athirapally project: Ramesh

Palakkad (Kerala), Feb 19 (IANS) Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday said the clearance for the much-delayed Athirapally hydro-electric power project cannot be given because of two studies.

‘There are two reports which say clearance cannot be given for the project because of environmental reasons. There is no conspiracy behind this,’ Ramesh told reporters here.

The proposed project was to come up across the Chalakudy river in Thrissur district and the Kerala government, especially Power Minister A.K. Balan, has been hankering for this project for long.

It was in 1998 that the project got the first clearance from the central government and soon thereafter, a legal battle with environmentalists ensued. In 2005, following a fresh environment impact study, it got clearance again.

But soon the Kerala High Court intervened and asked the Kerala State Electricity Board (KSEB) for a fresh clearance, which it got in 2007, only to be asked by the central government early this month why the clearance should not be revoked.

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