Sunday, July 05, 2009

Wildlife board clears sanctuary land for for Power Grid, Adani transmission line

Wildlife board clears sanctuary land for for Power Grid, Adani transmission line
Express India

The state Wildlife Board will soon send a proposal to the Centre requesting it to allow some industrial houses as well as government agencies to use forestland for non-forest purposes in the four protected sanctuaries in the state. These four include the Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary, the Wild Ass Sanctuary in the Little Rann of Kutch, Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary and the Narayan Sarovar Bird Sanctuary.

A decision to send the proposal was taken at the state Wildlife Board meeting here on Saturday under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Narendra Modi.

Among the main items cleared at the Board meeting were a proposal for diversion of 89.74 hectares of land in the Wild Ass Sanctuary for the power transmission line of Adani Power Limited, and another 241.59 hectares for the state-owned Power Grid Corporation's transmission lines in the same sanctuary.

The Board also cleared a proposal for the diversion of 7.29 hectares in the Girnar Sanctuary for Usha Breco Limited (UBL) for power ropeway construction, and another 0.450 hectares each for Vodafone Gujarat Ltd and Reliance Communication Gujarat Ltd for laying fibre-optic lines in the famous Narayan Sarovar Bird Sanctuary.

It also cleared the proposal of the State Road Development Corporation, seeking the diversion of 4.40 hectares of land in the Velavadar Blackbuck Sanctuary for laying a six-lane Sarkhej-Vataman-Bhavnagar Road, and BSNL's proposal for 0.315 hectares diversion

in Balaram Ambaji Sanctuary for laying fibre-optic lines.

Pradeep Khanna, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (Wildlife), told Newsline after the meeting: "All these proposals seeking clearance under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 will now be sent to the National Wildlife Board which, in turn, will forward it to the Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee for consideration. The apex court will take a final decision on the proposals."

Khanna said the Board meeting also approved other proposals, including a 265 km-long "garland road" to be laid around the Gir Sanctuary, the setting up of Leo-genetic lab for Gir lions and other wild animals at Junagadh, besides creating a communication network for surveillance, management and protection of animals in the Gir Sanctuary.

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