|Wildlife zones being destroyed by faulty clearances: experts
THE TIMES OF INDIA
Sep 30, 2011
DELHI: The Pandora's Box has opened on clearances given to dodgy
wildlife and forest projects. The non-official members on the PM-headed
National Board of Wildlife (NBWL) - some of the most well-known
wildlife conservationists and naturalists in the country - have written
to environment minister Jayanthi Natarajan that the panel has turned
into a clearing house over the past years.
Another letter, written by a separate group of wildlife experts, has demanded a reform in the forest clearance process.
Prior to Natarajan's tenure, the clearance was handled by three non-official members of the Forest Advisory Committee (FAC).
NBWL members note that in their last meeting during Jairam Ramesh's
tenure as environment minister they were forced to clear most of the 59
proposals to start projects in protected areas - wildlife sanctuaries
and national parks - in only two hours. It is mandatory to get a
clearance from the standing committee of the NBWL for diverting lands
demarcated as protected area under the Wildlife Protection Act.
NBWL members who have signed the letter include Biswajit Mohanty from
the Wildlife Society of Orissa, Asad Rahmani of the Bombay Natural
History Society, T R Shankar Raman of the Nature Conservation
Foundation, Bivabh Talukdar of Aranyaak, M K Ranjit Sinh,
Divyabhanusinh Chavda, Brijendra Singh, Valmik Thapar, Prerna Bindra,
Bittu Sehgal, Mitali Kakkar and Uma Ramakrishnan.