Tue, 31 Jan 2023

New Delhi [India], November 30 (ANI): The Supreme Court on Wednesday directed the chief secretaries of Rajasthan and Gujarat to conduct the assessment in priority areas relating to the total length of transmission lines and the estimated number of bird diverters required to protect the Great Indian Bustard (GIB).

The top court issued the direction in order to ensure that directions issued by the court are complied with. The top court was informed about some deaths of male and female Great Indian Bustard in priority areas.

A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud also orally asked counsel to take instruction from the Environment Ministry on an issue relating to some mechanism to bring focus on a project Great Indian Bustard similar to project tiger.

The court directed the chief secretaries of Rajasthan and Gujarat to conduct a comprehensive exercise in priority areas relating to the total length of transmission line and the estimated number of bird diverters required and filed a status report in this regard.

The court also noted that there is a project tiger to save the animal and remarked that is it not possible to have some mechanism to bring focus on the project Great Indian Bustard? The court asked counsel to take instructions from the Environment Ministry on this aspect.

Meanwhile, the Centre sought to modify the composition of the SC-appointed committee to oversee the issue as it urged to include two people with technical knowledge of transmission lines. Attorney General R Venkataramani and Additional Solicitor General Aishwarya Bhati have submitted that the inclusion of these two would facilitate the work of the committee since the committee would have the expertise of domain experts.

The top court said that the judgement in the matter has left it open to the committee to seek the views of technical experts and clarified that the committee may take the opinion from the expert.

The Supreme Court has earlier directed the States of Gujarat and Rajasthan to expedite the installation of bird diverters at least in the priority areas to save Great Indian Bustard and Lesser Florican.

Earlier, a three-judge bench had directed the concerned authorities to convert the overhead cables into underground powerlines.

The court's order had come on a plea seeking to protect two species of birds including the Great Indian Bustard.

According to the petition, the existence of overhead power lines is stated to have become a hazard due to which the said species of birds on collision are getting killed.

According to the petitioners, overhead power lines are the biggest threat to the survival of the GIBs. (ANI)

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