No environmental clearance for Athirapally project: Ramesh

Union environment and forest minister Jairam Ramesh today said the hydro-electric project at Athirapally in Kerala could not be granted environmental clearance as the proposed site was located in a forest.

Following evaluation of environment impact, the project could not be granted clearance Ramesh told a press conference in Thiruananthapuram today. Earlier he had discussions with chief minister Oommen Chandy on various projects in the state.

The previous LDF government had revived the 163MW project planned at the water resource bed of Chalakudy river and the present Congress-led UDF Government was pushing for its clearance.

According to Ramesh, the centre had cleared the terms of reference of the Vizhinjam Deep sea International Transhipment Terminal for conducting an Environmental Impact Assessment report.

He added the report would be considered for  the final clearance of the project. The project is estimated to have a capital outlay of  Rs4,500 crore on completion.

Ramesh said the centre had sanctioned a Vembanad Eco-stem restoration scheme for Kerala and with Rs10 crore having been approved as an initial allotment.