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Concern About Tiger Reserve Delays River-linking Project

The Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife, which was considering the project for granting clearance, has now constituted a committee to look into the possible impact on the wildlife in the region and submit a report in a month. 

Published: 17th March 2016 06:31 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2016 06:33 AM   |  A+A-

NEW DELHI: The country’s first river interlinking project, involving the Ken and the Betwa flowing through Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, is likely to get further delayed with the wildlife panel of the Ministry of Environment and Forests expressing concern about the project’s impact on the Panna Tiger Reserve and the Ken Gheriyal Wildlife Sanctuary in Madhya Pradesh.

The Standing Committee of the National Board for Wildlife, which was considering the project for granting clearance, has now constituted a committee to look into the possible impact on the wildlife in the region and submit a report in a month. 

According to ministry officials, the proposal will result in the direct loss of 58.03 sq km (10.07 per cent) of the critical tiger habitat of the Panna reserve due to submergence, 50 per cent loss of the existing unique habitat of highly endangered vultures, indirect loss of 105.23 sq km of the critical tiger habitat due to fragmentation and loss of connectivity, and displacement in 10 villages.

After discussions,the standing committee decided that a committee comprising its members and a representative each from the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the Wildlife Institute of India, the Madhya Pradesh government and the Ministry of Water Resources will conduct a site visit and submit a report in a month.

The Ministry of Water Resources pushed for the project saying the project would ensure the availability of water to drought-prone areas in Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh. Besides, the ministry said, it would ensure irrigation of about 6 lakh hectares of land and provide drinking water to 13.42 lakh people in both States.

The project has already missed its December 2015 commencement deadline.

Bone of Contention

The the Ministry of Environment and Forests expresses concern about the project’s impact on the Panna Tiger Reserve and the Ken Gheriyal Wildlife Sanctuary 

The National Board for Wildlife has constituted a committee to look into the possible impact on wildlife in the region and submit a report in a month

The proposal will result in the direct loss of 58.03 sq km (10.07 per cent) of the critical tiger habitat of the Panna reserve due to submergence, 50 per cent loss of the existing unique habitat of highly endangered vultures, indirect loss of 105.23 sq km of the critical tiger habitat due to fragmentation

It can also cause a loss of connectivity, and displacement in 10 villages



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