Veerappa Moily’s appointment as the new union minister of state for environment and forests (MoEF) despite his eco-hostile track record even when heading other ministries has led to strong ire among the green lobby in the country. “Under Jayanthi Natarajan, the MoEF’s Expert Appraisal Committee (EAC) on river valley and hydroelectric projects never rejected final environment clearance to any project.
Moily New Green Suit Riles has batted all along for controversial hydel power projects. In September 2012, his hurry in laying the foundation stone of an 85-MW Mawphu Stage II hydel project in Meghalaya is cited by many.
“There will be no compromise (on the green image), we will have to maintain that. I don’t want to compromise on the basic principles… the benchmark of this ministry,” Moily told the media.
“There is space for everyone… environment, wildlife and mankind,” he added.
“There are already set rules and laws laid down, and we need to perform the duty of the regulator. The rules of the game will have to be strictly followed.”
Natarajan’s resignation triggered speculation that more ministers may follow suit to take up new roles in a likely party rejig ahead of the 2014 Lok Sabha polls.