What is the News?
The Supreme Court gave several suggestions to protect the Great Indian Bustard in Gujarat and Rajasthan.
What was the case?
- A petition has been filed in the SC regarding the deaths of the Great Indian bustard (GIB). The deaths happened due to a collision with high voltage power lines.
- The petitioner asked the court to order the government to make power transmission lines underground to avoid collision with the GIB.
What has the Supreme Court said?
- Firstly, the Supreme Court asked the government about the possibility of placing underground and overhead power cables.
- Secondly, the government replied that only low voltage lines could go underground. But not the high voltage ones.
- Hence, the court has suggested a middle path. It said the low voltage lines could get made underground. And for the high voltage transmission lines that could not get made underground, the court could direct the installation of firefly bird diverters.
Note: Firefly bird diverters are flaps installed on power lines. They work as reflectors for bird species like the GIB. Birds can spot them from a distance of about 50 meters. It will help them to change their path of flight to avoid collision with power lines.
About the Great Indian Bustard:
- The Great Indian Bustard is one of the heaviest flying birds in the world. It inhabits dry grasslands and scrublands on the Indian subcontinent.
- Habitat: It is endemic to the Indian subcontinent. In India, the population is confined mostly to Rajasthan and Gujarat. A small population occurs in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- Conservation Status:
- IUCN Red List: Critically Endangered species
- CITES: Appendix I
- Wildlife (Protection) Act,1972: Schedule I
- Collision/electrocution with power transmission lines,
- Hunting (still prevalent in Pakistan),
- Irrigation and farming technology
- Wind turbines and Solar farms (photovoltaic power stations)
- Plantation of exotic shrub/tree species in deserts and grasslands in the name of afforestation.
Source: The Hindu