Asia / Oceania
Indian government investigates alleged favours to Jaiprakash Associates
May, 15 2012
(India) -- The Himachal Pradesh government is investigating the role of government officials in extending favours to Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. (JAL), which has been penalised by the high court for violating environmental norms.
Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, Prem Kumar Dhumal, has charged the previous Congress government in the state with extending favours to Jaiprakash Associates Ltd. (JAL).
"The previous government was responsible for granting the permission to Jaiprakash Associates for setting up a cement plant and a thermal power plant by ignoring mandatory codal formalities from 2004 to 2007," he told reporters here.
The green bench of the Himachal Pradesh High Court imposed Rs.100 crore in damages on JAL for having set up a cement plant and dismantling a thermal plant for violating environment laws and making false pleas before the authorities and the court.
"A former deputy commissioner, who was posted in Solan at the time of granting permissions during the previous Congress regime, is now an employee of Jaiprakash. Even the then chief minister (Virbhadra Singh) was in a hurry to sign MoU (memorandum of understanding) with the company," Dhumal said.
The division bench, comprising Justice Deepak Gupta and Justice Sanjay Karol observed that Jaiprakash Associates obtained the environmental clearance based on false information provided by the company about the cost of the plant. The company managed to get the permission for the thermal plant without environment impact assessment (EIA) clearance. "Even after it was brought to the notice of the company that the EIA clearance was required, it continued to build the thermal Plant," the court observed.
By: Rashmi Kalia (ARI-C NEWS)
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