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MoEF letter ‘alerted’ govt, but ‘technicalities’ in Raj’s favour!

Kota: A new twist came in Chambal River Front inauguration controversy episode on Wednesday under which the NGT’s letter was being discussed. There is also talk of NGT ‘cracking its whip’ to stop the project. But now informed sources have revealed that ‘although NGT had definitely raised some objections on the project, but at no stage did NGT advise to stop the project.’

“Therefore the discussion about the order to stop work by NGT is not factually correct. Forest and Environment Ministry had written a letter to the Chief Wildlife Warden in July and instructed to investigate the complaint received against the construction of river front and to take action against the guilty officer or authority. Along with this, the need for prior permission of the Environment Protection Act 1986 and the Standing Committee of the Supreme Court was also stressed upon along with the instructions to inform the ministry about the action taken in the case,” sources reveal.

Now a high level meeting was held on Tuesday to find a solution to this entire incident. The consultation took place till late last night under the chairmanship of Chief Secretary Usha Sharma in her chamber. ACS Shikhar Aggarwal, ACS Akhil Arora and Principal Secretary to CM Kuldeep Ranka were present in this meeting during which it was mulled upon as to what corrective steps should be taken in compliance with NGT guidelines and Supreme Court instructions.

According to sources, the local forest dept had given NoC on its behalf. While on Wednesday, in Kota, Anoop Bartaria claimed, “Environment clearance is necessary only if the construction area is more than 20,000 sqm, whereas the construction area of CRF is 16,000 square meters.”

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