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Environment

Guru Ghasidas National Park in Chhattisgarh to be declared as Tiger Reserve

Tiger

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given in-principle approval for creation of Guru Ghasidas-Tamor Pingla tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh. The NTCA in this regard has sought a final proposal from the Chhattisgarh state administration.

Guru Ghasidas national park lies between two important tiger reserves- Bandhavgarh (Madhya Pradesh) and Palamau (Jharkhand) and is also contiguous with the Sanjay-Dubri tiger reserve (Madhya Pradesh).

Background

  • In June 2011, the proposal to declare Guru Ghasidas National Park as a tiger reserve was proposed by the then Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
  • The proposal was made after the area was surveyed by the Wildlife Institute of India in 2010.
  • The survey had clearly mentioned that, though the prey population in the habitat is low at present, it has considerable diversity. Therefore, with good management and protection under Project Tiger, the area has a potential for supporting a viable tiger population along with the Sanjay-Dubri tiger reserve.

At present, Chhattisgarh has three tiger reserves- Indravati, Udanti-Sitanadi and Achanakmar. According to an NTCA, these reserves have 26 tigers as per Tiger census of 2010.

2015 to be celebrated as Year of Water Conservation in India 

water-drop

The year 2015-16 will be observed as water conservation year in India.  Recently, it was announced by the Water Resources, River Development and Ganga Rejuvenation Minister Uma Bharti while inaugurating an international seminar on water risk and water stewardship held at New Delhi.

To mark this conservation year, a public movement will be launched. The cooperation of state governments, NGOs, civil society, youth and retired personnel will be taken to meet efforts aimed at conserving water.

As per minister, public movement has become a necessity for conservation of water and river in the country as it is an important element of development.

Environment Ministry approves waiver of mandatory green clearances for strategic border roads

border-roads

Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has given in-principle approval to Union Home Ministry and Ministry for Road Transport and Highways for waiver of mandatory forest and environment clearances for construction of strategic roads and bridges along border.

This in-principle approval by MoEF was granted in order to expedite strategic border projects under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 for diversion of forest land for creation of border security related infrastructure within five kilometres aerial distance from the International Border.

Earlier, Union Home Ministry had requested MoEF to exempt environment clearance for infrastructure projects falling within 100 km from Line of Control (LoC), Line of Actual Control (LAC) and International Border (IB).

In response to this request, MoEF has allowed diversion of land for setting up of surveillance equipment within 5 km from the International Border and 100 km from LAC.

Ministry of Road Transport and Highways also had requested MoEF to give environment and forest clearances at their respective state level in order to expedite these infrastructure projects along the States having borders.

The states mentioned were: Bihar, West Bengal, Arunachal Pradesh, Mizoram, Uttar Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Rajasthan, Punjab and Gujarat.

MoEF gave approval to Ministry of Road Transport and Highways under Forest (Conservation) Act for creation of security related installations for all states having international border except to the state of  Jammu & Kashmir as this Act do not extend to it.

Implications of this decision on strategic border projects

  • Paramilitary organisations like Border Security Force (BSF) and Sashastra Seema Bal (SSB) are the first line of defence along the IB. This approval will help them to meet their most of installations requirements such as border roads, fencing, Border Outposts, floodlights, surveillance and power infrastructure are required to be created along or near the IB.
  • Due to the inhospitable terrain along the LAC, installations of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police deployed along the LAC as first line defence, are required to be created at far away distance from the LAC. Now they can construct strategic installations within 100kms of LAC.
  • These strategic projects will help to tackle repeated incursions along LoC, LAC and IB.

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