Thursday, July 13, 2017

Look for alternate site for Barmer power substation: NGT to Rajasthan government

JAIPUR: National Green Tribunal, Bhopal, in major relief to the villagers of Korna, has ordered the state government to look for an alternate site for the proposed 765/400 KV substation that was planned in pasture land of the village in Pachpadra tehsil, Barmer district.

The order issued on Tuesday by Justice Dalip Singh and expert member Satyawan Singh Garbyal said, "From photographs and other material on record we have observed that there are five water bodies close to the proposed site... which are frequented by migratory birds and other wildlife. It has also been submitted that these water bodies are the only source of water in the area and are also used by village cattle and other animals."

The judgment of May 16 noted that the inspection report was "not satisfactory", and so the counsel for the state was asked to submit "toposheet of the Survey of India for the entire region, wherein the proposed site as well as an alternate site which was found at a distance of 38 km from the proposed site would be indicated."

The tribunal noted that since wildlife would be affected by any construction in the area, and no input had earlier been received from the forest department, a report was sought from the Barmer district forest officer.

The deputy conservator of forests, in a report submitted on Tuesday, told the tribunal that gauchar land spread over 3,000 bighas with five water bodies would be affected. He noted that rain water drains into the water bodies that are maintained by the villagers of Korna. Wildlife and domestic cattle are dependent on the water.

"The DFO in his report has concluded that any reduction in the habitat area by way of construction may cause damage to wildlife there and thus disturb ecological balance," the order states.

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