Chennai: The controversy surrounding the Indian Neutrino Observatory (INO) project refused to die down with environmental organisation Poovulagin Nanbargal alleging irregularities in the Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) for the project.
According to the reply provided to a Right to Information (RTI) petition filed with the Quality Council of India (QCIL) by Poovulagin Nanbargal, the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) is not accredited with QCIL/ NABET as an EIA consultant.
“The Environment Impact Assessment itself is illegal and hence the project is also illegal as it was given clearance based on the EIA,” said G Sunderrajan, who filed the RTI appeal.
Express is in possession of the RTI reply.
The question posed by Sunderrajan to NABET which provides accreditation to auditors, was, ‘Is Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON) in Coimbatore an accredited Environment Impact Assessment consultant? If so when was this accreditation given? Please give the date of this accreditation.’
The Indian Neutrino Observatory’s official website lists SACON as the organisation which has carried out a ‘Rapid EIA’ of the INO
project and submitted the report to the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai (IMSc), one of the institutes involved with the project.
According to its official website, SACON is aided by the MoEF and also has a separate division for EIA.
When Express contacted physicist D Indumathi of Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai, who is part of the project, she refuted the charges.
She said that as per their records, SACON was on the list of EIA consultants of the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF).
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