Jairam Ramesh refused to give clearance to the proposed cricket stadium in Kochi citing that the site falls under the Coastal Regulation Zone-1. Ramesh was talking to media persons after a high-level meeting with Chief Minister Oommen Chandy and his cabinet colleagues.
Ramesh commented, “The clearance for the stadium just cannot be granted because it comes under CRZ-1 area and a lot of precious mangrove has already been destroyed there. The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) first destroyed the mangrove. Our officials had asked them to stop all activities since they had not applied for clearance from my department."
The environment department had earlier issued a notice to the KCA for destroying mangroves in the proposed site. Ramesh also took the opportunity to issue a stern warning and said, “The maximum penalty that we can impose is just Rs.1 lakh. No stadium is permissible at this site."
Chandy also echoed Ramesh's thoughts and said that the state was keen on development but not at the cost of destroying the environment. The KCA secretary T C Mathew, meanwhile claimed that the association had not done anything wrong and will further broach the matter with the state government. Mathew stated, “If the Centre denies us permission then we will have no other option but to seek legal recourse. But that would be our last option."