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Supreme Court stays construction of four dams inside Haryana’s Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary

The Bench also issued notices to Centre, Haryana Government and others, asking them to respond to the petition

Supreme Court stays construction of four dams inside Haryana’s Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary

Advocate Gaurav Bansal has challenged the construction of four dams Chikan, Kansli, Khillanwala and Ambawali within Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary as it will have a negative impact on the flora and the fauna in the area. File photo



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 24

The Supreme Court on Wednesday stayed construction of four proposed dams inside Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary in Haryana’s Yamunanagar district.

Acting on a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal, the Bench also issued notices to the Centre, the Haryana Government and others, asking them to respond to the petition.

Bansal has challenged the construction of four dams Chikan, Kansli, Khillanwala and Ambawali within Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary as it will have a negative impact on the flora and the fauna in the area.

“Issue notice. We further direct that no steps shall be taken for construction of dams unless an order is passed by this court,” a Bench led by Justice BR Gavai said, noting that construction of dams will not only be detrimental to wildlife and population in Kalesar but also to the ecosystem.

Even the purpose for which the dams were proposed would not be achieved, said the Bench which also included Justice Sandeep Mehta.

Notified on 13th December 1996, the Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over an area of 13,209 acres.

Situated in the foothills of Shivalik ranges of mighty Himalayas, it shares its boundary with the state of Uttar Pradesh on the east and with the states of Himachal Pradesh and Uttarakhand on the northern side.

The whole area is full of biodiversity, having dense Sal forests, Khair forests and patches of grass lands, which support a variety of plants and animal species.

Royal tigers and mighty elephants visit this place from the Rajaji National Park. Other animals found there include Monitor Lizard,Grey-hooded Warbler, King Cobra, Crested Serpent Eagle, Python, Chital, Chestnut-bellied Nuthatch, Sambar, Bar-tailed Treecreeper, Barking Deer, Ghoral, Red-billed Blue Magpie and Leopard.

Bansal contended that the National Board for Wildlife has granted permission to construct dams inside the wildlife sanctuary without taking cognisance of the report of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) which says that there is no need for such dams.

“WII has categorically stated in its report namely 'Feasibility Study of Proposed Small Dams in Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary, Haryana' that the proposed dams are under protected area boundary of Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary and as such would significantly affect the terrestrial as well as aquatic biodiversity of the protected area,” he submitted.

Referring to a letter by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden of Haryana, Bansal said he has stated that the proposed dam sites located in the notified boundary of the sanctuary will affect the existing pattern of habitat use of various species.

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