new delhi, Sept. 12 -- The Centre has granted environmental clearance for capacity expansion of two units of the Kaiga Atomic Power Project, and the construction of additional accommodation in the existing township in Karnataka's Karwar taluk in the ecologically fragile Western Ghats.

A panel, headed by noted ecologist Madhav Gadgil, had in 2011 categorised Karwar as an ecologically sensitive zone-1 (ESZ-1) because of its rich biodiversity and vulnerability to natural disasters. The Western Ghats Ecology Expert Panel (WGEEP) had recommended that no mining and thermal power plants, among others, be allowed in areas graded as ESZ-1.

Proceedings of an "environmental public hearing" held on December 15, 2018 show local people had strong reser...