'No nod for Gundia project'

He was speaking after inaugurating the national seminar organised as part of the silver jubilee celebration of the Silent Valley National Park at Mundur near Palakkad on Saturday.

Ramesh said the Karnataka chief minister had laid the foundation stone for a 440MW hydro-electric project at Gundia without getting the environment clearance from the Centre. “The project will destroy 1,900 acres of forest and create ecological problems. So, the Centre will not give sanction for the Gundia hydel project,” the minister said.
He termed the Western Ghats to be as ecologically significant for the country as the Himalayas and no tampering with its environment could be allowed.
He said the government would consider giving financial incentives to the states that protect the forest and bring more areas under forest cover.
A Rs 225-crore scheme with Japanese aid to provide infrastructure facilities to the state forest departments and training for forest staff would be implemented in the next five years.

Ten states would be given grant for infrastructure and training to the forest department and its staff under the scheme.

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