NAGPUR: At least 17 fresh proposals for diversion of forest land of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries and 10 fresh proposals for taking up non-forestry activities within 10km of national parks and sanctuaries will come up before the standing committee of National Board for Wildlife (NBWL) on October 31st.
All the projects are from different states in India. These include laying of 220 KV Tuljapur-Solapur-Lamboti electricity transmission line passing through Great Indian Bustard (GIB) Sanctuary, and construction of railway lines proposed under dedicated freight corridor from Sanjay Gandhi National Park (SNGP), Borivali.
The issue of 164 hectares forest land diversion proposal of Adani Power Maharashtra Ltd (APML) near Nagzira Wildlife Sanctuary will not figure in the meeting. "It will first have to be passed by the state wildlife board (SWB) before being placed before NBWL," said one member.
The standing committee of NBWL is country's topmost wildlife policymaking body. Jayanthi Natarajan, minister of state for environment and forests, will chair the meeting.
It is learnt that other NBWL members like Divyabhanusinh Chavda, M M Ranjitsinh, AJT Johnsingh, Prerna Bindra, NGO-members including Satpuda Foundation (SF), Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and Nature Conservation Foundation of Mysore have already submitted their agenda items.
ESZ for PAs having 500 sq km area or more has been curtailed to 2km; those between 200-500 sq km to 1km; those between 100-200 sq km to 500 metres and the PAs below 100 sq km to 100 metres.
The Satpuda Foundation warns that the above criteria do not ensure that developmental projects like mines, power projects and polluting industries will not negatively impact the Pas, nor do they address the fragmentation and destruction of wildlife corridors connecting the PAs.
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