Staff Correspondent

Former Minister Shivaram releases to the press Jairam Ramesh’s letter to Yeddyurappa

Foundation stone for the project was laid on

May 26, 2009

Jairam Ramesh says State should follow the process as per law for any project

Hassan: Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh informed the delegation of Congress leaders of Hassan district who called on him in Delhi recently that the Union Government had not given clearance for the Gundia project. He also gave them the copy of the letter that was addressed to Chief Minister B.S. Yeddyurappa.

Former Congress Minister B. Shivaram released the letter to the press here on Monday. The letter dated June 20, 2009 said that “the Gundia hydel project of Karnataka Power Corporation in Hassan district is going to drown almost 1,900 acres of thick forest in the already – endangered Western Ghats along with all its fauna. This is something that both Karnataka and our country can ill-afford”.

Mr. Jairam Ramesh has said in the letter that the foundation stone for the project was laid on May 26, 2009, even though the environmental and forest clearance from the Government of India has not been obtained. “I am sure you will agree with me that it would not be proper to have the foundation stone laid in anticipation of obtaining environmental and forest clearance,” he added.

Advising the State Government to go through the process as laid down by law when laying foundation stone for projects, Mr. Jairam Ramesh said that power generation should not happen at the cost of ecological security.

Mr. Shivaram said that the Expert Appraisal Committee appointed by Union Government had also said that the project should not be taken up. Mr. Shivaram urged the Deputy Commissioner not to start work on land acquisition for Gundia project till the Union Government gave clearance for the project.

H.A. Kishore Kumar, president of the Malnad Janapara Horata Samiti, said that Parvathi Keshavachar, Deputy Secretary to Government, Energy Department, Government of Karnataka through a letter had stated that the Managing Director of Karnataka Power Corporation had informed the Government that the Union Ministry for Environment and Forest had given clearance for the Gundia project on July 23, 2009. Mr. Kumar added that the letter sent by Mr. Jairam Ramesh clearly showed that the Managing Director of Karnataka Power Corporation had misled the Government on the issue.

S M Anand, MLC, and Malnad Janapara Horata Samithi member Hemmige Mohan were also present.