J&K UT To Assess Impact Of Transmission Lines On Flora, Fauna

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CS-led FAC directs PDD to undertake study

Nasir Azam

Srinagar: In a significant development, the Jammu & Kashmir Union Territory (UT) government plans to undertake a study to assess impact of transmission lines, traversing through forests, on flora and fauna.

The Forest Advisory Committee of J&K government has decided to undertake study to asses’ effects of transmission lines on flora and fauna of forests.

Official documents in possession of wire service—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) reveal that 117th FAC meeting held on October 17 here directed the Forest department to provide funds to PDD for undertaking the study.

“The Power Development Department may engage consultants / experts such as those from Wildlife Institute of India for the purpose,” reveals the minutes of the meeting, a copy of which lies with the KNO.

 The FAC is headed by J&K Chief Secretary and comprises of officials from Forest and other departments. The panel decides on diversion of forestland for non-forestry purposes. This will be the first official study in J&K to asses’ impact of transmission lines on environment.

In 2017, J&K High Court had warned authorities for damaging wildlife sanctuary at Hirpora, in South Kashmir’s Shopian district while carrying out works for laying power transmission line.

“We make it clear that in the meanwhile authorities shall not act in any manner which may cause directly or indirectly any type of damage to the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Shopian,” a division bench of HC had said.

According to studies undertaken in different parts of globe, transmission lines severely affect flora and fauna. The physical presence of transmission lines can have an effect on wildlife. These potential effects include long-term changes to habitat, bird strikes, access issues, noise effects and associated avoidance behavior, and electric and magnetic fields.

The bird deaths due to collisions with power lines can be biologically significant if the species is threatened or endangered.

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