New Delhi: A day after Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said the Akshardham temple was built on the Yamuna river bed here without a green nod, Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit Saturday said it was cleared by the National Democratic Alliance (NDA) government.
"I do not know in what context Ramesh spoke. However, the decision to give the clearance (to the temple) was taken by the then NDA government and the permission was given by the authorities," Dikshit told reporters on the sidelines of a function.
Dikshit responded to the statement by Ramesh Friday in which he said that the Akshardham temple, built on the river bed, lacked environmental clearance.
He also questioned the environment clearance given to the Commonwealth Games Village, adjacent to the temple in east Delhi.
Ramesh said the Games Village should not have been given environmental clearance while there was no application ever for such permission to build the temple.
However, he conceded that the structure could not be demolished now.
The Akshardham temple took approximately five 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.