‘Threat to wildlife’: Supreme Court stays building of 4 dams in Haryana’s Kalesar sanctuary : The Tribune India

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‘Threat to wildlife’: Supreme Court stays building of 4 dams in Haryana’s Kalesar sanctuary

‘Threat to wildlife’: Supreme Court stays building of 4 dams in Haryana’s Kalesar sanctuary

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



Tribune News Service

Satya Prakash

New Delhi, April 24

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

Acting on a petition filed by advocate Gaurav Bansal, the Bench also issued notices to the Centre, 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, saying it would have a negative impact on the flora and fauna in the area. “Issue notice. We further direct that no steps shall be taken for the construction of the dams unless an order is passed by this court,” a Bench led by Justice BR Gavai said, noting that the construction of dams would not only be detrimental to wildlife and population in Kalesar, but also to the ecosystem.

National Board had cleared project

  • Situated in Shivalik foothills, Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary spread over 13,209 acres
  • Plea filed in SC after National Board for Wildlife gave nod to build four dams in sanctuary
  • Move detrimental not only to wildlife, but also to ecosystem: SC in stay order

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

Notified on December 13, 1996, Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary is spread over 13,209 acres. It is situated in the Shivalik foothills and shares its boundary with Uttar Pradesh in the east and Himachal Pradesh and Uttaranchal in the north. The entire area is full of biodiversity, having dense sal and khair forests and patches of grasslands, which support a variety of plants and animal species.

Bansal contended that the National Board for Wildlife had granted permission to construct the dams without taking cognisance of a report of the Wildlife Institute of India (WII).

“The WII has categorically stated in its report, ‘Feasibility Study of Proposed Small Dams in Kalesar Wildlife Sanctuary, Haryana’ that the dams are under the protected area boundary of the 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 had stated the dam sites in the notified boundary of the sanctuary would affect the existing pattern of habitat use of various species.

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