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‘In 2020, wildlife board cleared land diversion for 48 projects’ | India News – Times of India

NEW DELHI: The National Board for Wildlife (NBWL), an apex physique which takes a name on use of land from completely different conservation areas for improvement actions, had authorized diversion of round 1,792 hectares — an space equal to the scale of 3,349 soccer fields — of wildlife habitat for 48 tasks in 2020, the yr of the pandemic which severely restricted floor visits for taking essential choices.
A examine, analysing all of the clearances granted by the Standing Committee (SC) of the NBWL final yr, has discovered that the SC-NBWL thought of 82 proposals, out of which 25 have been for diversion inside wildlife sanctuaries and nationwide parks.
Most of the tasks cleared have been for linear diversion inside sanctuaries, nationwide parks and tiger reserves, mentioned the examine, carried out by a New Delhi-based not-for-profit organisation, Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment (LIFE). Linear tasks are land-disturbing actions which might be linear in nature resembling roads, railways, transmission traces, pipelines or any utility traces. It mentioned, “Linear projects are known to be especially destructive because they fragment the entire landscape and interrupt movement range of animals.”
Around 1,040 hectares was authorized for diversion from eco-delicate zones whereas almost 594 hectares have been authorized from inside tiger habitats for linear tasks, defence and infrastructure improvement. Remaining round 158 hectares have been diverted in wildlife sanctuaries, nationwide parks and conservation reserves, it mentioned.
The SC-NBWL is headed by Union setting minister Prakash Javadekar. It consists of a member secretary and completely different members, together with a non-official, nominated by the minister.
The SC-NBWL had additionally authorized deletion (de-notification) of 1,08,983 hectares (round 1,089 sq km) of protected areas (PA) from Hastinapur Wildlife Sanctuary (HWS) in UP and Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary in MP. Analysis by LIFE exhibits PA of over 38,303 hectares was de-notified in 2018 which concerned de-notification of the whole Turtle Sanctuary in (*48*), whereas 5,445 hectares of PA was de-notified in 2019.
Though the ministry didn’t reply to TOI’s questions on findings of the examine, an official who requested anonymity mentioned the choice to de-notify space of the HWS was taken to easily rationalise the boundary of the sanctuary because the portion was principally non-forest land and it’s getting used for agriculture and habitation for years. He mentioned, “The forest area will continue to be part of the sanctuary.”

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