Minister hits back after copping enviro flak

INDIA’S Union Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh has defended himself against censure following his decision to clear three cases of coal mining in Chhattisgarh after criticism was previously levelled at him for not clearing projects.
Minister hits back after copping enviro flak Minister hits back after copping enviro flak Minister hits back after copping enviro flak Minister hits back after copping enviro flak Minister hits back after copping enviro flak

Jairam hits back after copping NGT flak

Sadie Davidson

Ramesh received flak from the National Green Tribunal following clearance granted for captive coal blocks in Parsa East and Kante-Basan in Chhattisgarh when he was environment minister in 2011.

“The NGT makes much of the fact that my speaking order is dated June 23, 2011, which is only one day after I received the final recommendation of the Forest Advisory Committee,” Ramesh said in a written statement.

“Perhaps it may not have occurred to the NGT that as a minister, I could have been aware of what the FAC would recommend.

“While FAC was carrying out its due diligence, I was doing my own assessments enjoined upon me as minister.

“All I can say is that after having been pilloried for not clearing projects, now I am being attacked for having cleared projects.

“I am being accused of being anthropocentric, while in the past I was accused of being obsessed with trees, tigers, rivers, mangroves.

“Clearly you can’t win them all. My conscience is clear.”

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