As regular CFZ-watchers will know, for some time Corinna has been doing a column for Animals & Men and a regular segment on On The Track... particularly about out-of-place birds and rare vagrants. There seem to be more and more bird stories from all over the world hitting the news these days so, to make room for them all - and to give them all equal and worthy coverage - she has set up this new blog to cover all things feathery and Fortean.

Thursday, 20 February 2020

Supreme Court steps in to save two endangered bird species

February 19, 2020 8:52 am

NEW DELHI: The Supreme Court on Tuesday stepped in to save two endangered bird species — Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican — by directing the Rajasthan government to chalk out a time frame to remove overhead high-voltage power lines and lay them underground.

A bench headed by Chief Justice SA Bobde and comprising Justices BR Gavai and Surya Kant observed that the two species were vulnerable to fatal collision with overhead power lines.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) echoed the concern and insisted that power lines would have to be laid underground to save the birds.

The Court then asked the Rajasthan government’s counsel to obtain instructions from the authorities concerned on shifting overhead lines below the ground within two weeks.

The top Court observed that the State could go for underground cables in agreements with private companies.

The Court observed that overhead power lines obstruct the flight of the Great Indian Bustard, a larger bird, and as a consequence its movement was restricted.

The Chief Justice said: “One of the solutions suggested to avoid collision of birds with overhead wires is these be laid underground.”

For the other bird species, the top Court reckoned it faced difficulties due to power generation plants and queried the State if it is facing any issues so that the court could issue specific directions.

Additional Solicitor General ANS Nadkarni, representing the MoEF, contended that a team of ministry officials and other wildlife experts had visited Jaisalmer in Rajasthan. Nadkarni said after considering all aspects, the only solution available is to take the cables underground.

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