Palakkad: Electricity Minister A.K. Balan has come down heavily on Union Minister of State for Environment Jairam Ramesh for allegedly denying sanction to the Athirappilly project on “flimsy” grounds.

The project had been cleared by all other departments concerned, but failed to get final approval only because of the Minister's stance against it, Mr. Balan told reporters here. The experts' committee which examined objections to the project had found that Kerala's stand that it was not environmentally damaging was correct, he said.

The State has for long been pressing for the project, harnessing waters of the Chalakudy River. However, environmental groups are opposed to the project. — PTI