|Sunday Sep 03 2000
| E&Y rewriting controversial
international accounting firm Ernst and Young has said it was
rewriting an environmental impact report on a hydroelectric
power project after accusations that it plagiarized a report
on a different project 90 miles away.
investigating how this happened. The report was written and
submitted in haste," said Kashi Nath Memani, the Ernst and
Young director in New Delhi. "It’s a major embarrassment for
us. We will be preparing another report and submitting it
Memani however added, "I’m neither denying
nor acknowledging these allegations." He said the report was
prepared by one employee and was not checked by a supervisor.
Ernst and Young was hired by the Murdeshwar Power Corp
to prepare the report for the $40 million Dandeli Mini-Hydel
project on the Kali River to obtain government clearance,
which was given on June 5.
The report involves the
construction of two dams near the Dandeli Wildlife Reserve and
the Ulvi Bird Sanctuary in the southern state of Karnataka.
When two saddle dams are completed, 215 acres of moist
deciduous and evergreen forest would be submerged in the
Western Ghats mountain range.
The global environmental
group Conservation International has identified the Western
Ghats as one of the world’s 20-25 treasure troves of
Local environmental groups charged that
Ernst and Young had copied "word for word" an environmental
impact report prepared by another consulting group last
September for a different hydroelectric project, affecting a
different type of forest.
Newspapers first reported
the charges on August 27. - AP