Akshardham temple never got green clearance, admits Jairam

Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, Jan 7 (IANS) Years after the Akshardham temple came up on the Yamuna river bed in Delhi, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday said that the construction never got environment clearance.

Admitting what environmentalists have pointed out for years, the environment minister expressed concern over illegal constructions on the river bed.

'The Akshardham temple in Delhi never had environment clearance and they never applied for it,' Ramesh said in a press conference here.

He also questioned the environment clearance given to the Commonwealth Games Village, adjacent to the Akshardham temple in east delhi.

'Illegal construction on the river bed is a serious cause of concern. The CWG Village should have never got the environmental clearance but it (the construction) was upheld by the SC (Supreme Court),' he said.

The Akshardham temple took approximately 5 years to build and was inaugurated in 2005.

Both the temple and the Games Village came up despite protests from environment groups over the effects on the river bed ecology.