Projects through tiger corridors approved; 14,241 trees to be cut | Mumbai news - Hindustan Times
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Projects through tiger corridors approved; 14,241 trees to be cut

Jun 02, 2023 12:46 AM IST

The GAIL pipeline passes through the tiger corridor of the Bor and Pench tiger reserves. Of the total 320 km that it passes through, 24 km is forest area.

In a meeting chaired by Chief Minister Eknath Shinde on Thursday evening, the State Board For Wildlife (SBWL) cleared four proposals for which a total of 14,241 trees will need to be cut.

The SBWL also cleared the 220-KV Thane-Salcette line for Mumbai power augmentation, which will pass through 62 metres inside the Thane creek flamingo sanctuary. The proposal says that 439 trees will be cut in non-forest areas, and that the project has already received clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority. (Yogesh Naik/HT PHOTO)
The SBWL also cleared the 220-KV Thane-Salcette line for Mumbai power augmentation, which will pass through 62 metres inside the Thane creek flamingo sanctuary. The proposal says that 439 trees will be cut in non-forest areas, and that the project has already received clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority. (Yogesh Naik/HT PHOTO)

The last meeting of SBWL was held very recently on May 2, but since the central government wanted a speedy clearance for a gas pipeline project of the Gas Authority of India Limited (GAIL), a second meeting was held in less than a month’s time. SBWL members were told about the meeting on Wednesday and had to come immediately to Mumbai. The May 2 meeting had been wound up in five minutes by the CM, but the Thursday meeting was held for over half an hour.

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The GAIL pipeline passes through the tiger corridor of the Bor and Pench tiger reserves and will be used for transporting liquefied natural gas from Nagpur to Jabalpur in Madhya Pradesh. Of the total 320 km that it passes through, 24 km is forest area. GAIL has been told to prevent gas leaks at all costs.

Also Read: Pune forest department records reduction in forest fires

The SBWL also cleared the 220-KV Thane-Salcette line for Mumbai power augmentation, which will pass through 62 metres inside the Thane creek flamingo sanctuary. The proposal says that 439 trees will be cut in non-forest areas, and that the project has already received clearance from the Maharashtra Coastal Zone Management Authority.

The proposal to widen National Highway 930 D from Bamni village in Maharashtra to Telangana was also cleared at the meeting. This passes through the tiger corridor of Tadoba-Andhari-Kanhargaon-Indravati-Kaval, and 6,805 trees will be cut for the project. There will be eight underpasses and four culverts for wildlife, and crash barriers will have to be installed to prevent wildlife crossing. The proposal said that the widening from two lanes to four lanes was needed to ease traffic.

The project to widen National Highway 353 B passing through the tiger corridor in Tadoba-Andhari-Kaval areas was approved and will claim 5,140 trees. The proposal said this was aimed at reducing congestion on the Asifabad road in Chandrapur Rajura. The Tadoba-Andhari National Park, and its buffer zone, is a favourite spot of wildlife lovers.

When questioned, the CM’s office did not make any comment and neither did forest secretary B V Gopal Reddy. But SBWL member Kishor Rithe said that he had insisted on compensatory afforestation on lands within the tiger corridors through land acquisition. “Forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar appreciated this and ordered officials to issue the government resolution mentioning it,” he said.

Rithe also said that the work on the transmission line over Thane creek wildlife sanctuary would be allowed only during the monsoon and high tide when there were no flamingos.

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