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Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Damage to wildlife by infra projects to figure in NBWL meet

TNN | Sep 4, 2012, 01.21AM IST NAGPUR: The issue of linear intrusions, like networks of irrigation canals, power transmission lines, highways and railway lines, creating obstacles in smooth movement of tigers and wildlife in the corridors of Vidarbha will figure in the National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) meeting to be chaired by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday. Singh will chair the NBWL meeting at 6.30pm at 7 Race Course Road, Delhi. Around 45 members, including environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan and others, will attend. This meeting will be the first time Vidarbha gets representation in the form of Amravati-based wildlife conservation NGO Satpuda Foundation (SF). Nagpur is already called the 'tiger capital of the world', as it is surrounded by six tiger reserves within a radius of 250-300km. Kishor Rithe, president of SF and NBWL member, has already submitted the agenda items for the meeting. Rithe said he will raise issue of linear intrusion which causes problems for wildlife across Central India. Rithe said that though Central India in general and Vidarbha in particular play host to tiger habitats, farmers and villages faces huge economic losses due to unplanned development that forces wildlife out of its habitat. The most serious issue is implementation of linear projects like irrigation canal network, power transmission lines, highways and railway lines, which create obstacles in the smooth movement of wildlife in the corridors. "As a result, large number of wild animals get killed in accidents. Obstruction to wildlife movement by these projects also leads to crop depredation by wild animals, besides loss of human life and cattle due to attacks by carnivores," said Rithe. The NBWL member added that while planning and implementing any development or infrastructure project, the agencies need to give serious thought to mitigation measures. "Right now, there is hardly any special consideration in planning process for projects coming up in wildlife habitats or any financial allocation by agencies to implement mitigation measures. I will demand that the PM should address this issue," said Rithe.

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