Union Government, 3 states to start artificial breeding of Great Indian Bustard

Union Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEFCC) along with the 3 state governments will soon start an artificial breeding programme of Great Indian Bustard (GIB).

Under this integrated collaborative effort, 3 states viz. Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra will take part to boost the population of GIB, one of the critically endangered flying bird species in the world.

The artificially breeding operations of GIBs will begin in 2016 across these 3 states and they will be later released from captivity to semi-captivity after some time of initial operations.

Artificial breeding programme of GIB

  • 1st initiative of the programme: Seek to establish a captive stock of GIB which will lay eggs. It will be followed by hatching of the eggs and then they will become chicks.
  • Later, the chicks will be reared to become adult and will be used to increase population in captivity, before they are being released in semi-captivity.
  • Technical expertise: Regarding the breeding programme, will be provided by Wildlife Institute of India (WII), an autonomous institution of the MoEFCC.
  • WII will provide expertise in planning, breeding, conserving, hatching of egg of GIB along with scientific information related to the ecology of the species, its functional dynamics, physiology and behavioural aspects.
  • Respective participatory state governments will help in preparing favourable habitat like arid and semi-arid grasslands needed for GIB.

About Great Indian Bustard (GIB)

  • Scientific name: Ardeotis Nigriceps.
  • Appearance: It is 1 metre in height and weighs nearly 15 kilos. It has black crown on the forehead with contrasting pale neck and head.
  • Found in: Once it was found in large number across the grasslands of India and Pakistan, but now it is restricted to small and isolated fragments in three Indian western states of Rajasthan, Gujarat and Maharashtra.
  • Protection Status: Critically Endangered (CR) species in the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red Data Book. It is listed in Schedule I of the Wildlife (Protection) Act of India, 1972.
  • Threat: GIB has been exterminated from almost 90 per cent of their former range even though it has ability to survive in harsh weather conditions. The main reasons are Habitat loss and poaching.


CCEA approves creation of Intra State Transmission System in 7 States

The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs (CCEA) has approved the creation of an Intra-state Transmission System (ISTS) in 7 states across the country.

7 States are: Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Himachal Pradesh.

Key facts about Intra-state Transmission System

  • Under the project, the activities envisaged includes establishment of 48 new Grid sub-stations of different voltage levels. It will have total transformation capacity around 17,100 Mega Volt Ampere (MVA).
  • It will also include installing over 7,800 Circuit Kilometres (ckt-kms) of transmission lines in these seven states. The project is proposed to be completed within a period of 3 to 5 years.
  • Tapping renewable energy potential: These 7 states are having rich renewable resource potential with numerous large planned renewable power projects.
  • Creation of this system will facilitate evacuation of renewable power from generation stations to load centres.
  • Funding: It will be created at an estimated cost of 8548 crore rupees. Of this total amount National Clean Energy Fund (NCEF) will contribute 3,419 crore rupees i.e. 40 per cent for this project.


Union Cabinet gives nod to revised estimate for East-West freight corridor

Union Cabinet has given to 81,459 crore rupees revised estimate for Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project.

Decision in this regard was taken in Union Cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi. Cabinet also has given nod to include land costs and financing plan for this for East-West freight corridor.

The revised cost estimate comprises construction cost of 73,392 crore rupees of the Eastern and Western DFC along with additional land acquisition cost of 8,067 crore rupees.

In this revised estimate, the cost of the 534-km Sonnagar-Dankuni section has been excluded as this section is proposed to be implemented through Public-Private Partnership (PPP) route.

Eastern and Western Dedicated Freight Corridor (DFC) Project on completion will pass through 9 states. They are Maharashtra, Gujarat, Rajasthan, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Jharkhand and West Bengal.

This project will significantly help to reduce transportation cost and benefit mines, powerplants and ports present along its route. It will also help to boost trade and industry.