Animal care centre to come up near Noida airport - Hindustan Times
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Animal care centre to come up near Noida airport

Jun 02, 2023 12:17 AM IST

The Union environment ministry raised concerns about the damage to ecology and disruption to wildlife as the airport is near wetlands that are home to the state bird, sarus cranes, and blackbucks

The Uttar Pradesh government has asked the forest, environment, and climate change department to begin work on an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre in the vicinity of Greenfield Noida International Airport at Jewar as part of its biodiversity conservation plan, as wildlife is expected to be impacted by the construction of this project in this area.

The Noida international airport construction site . (PTI)
The Noida international airport construction site . (PTI)

The state government has requested that the Yamuna Expressway industrial development authority (Yeida), the Noida authority, and the Greater Noida authority, which own shares in Noida International Airport Limited (NIAL), a state government agency formed to oversee the development and operation of the airport project, to develop the centre.

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The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has suggested that an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre be built near the airport following a study of the area in 2019-20. WII was called in after the Union environment ministry raised concerns about the damage to ecology, including natural ponds, canals, and trees, as well as the disruption to wildlife — the airport is near wetlands that are home to the state bird, sarus cranes, and blackbucks, among others, in its observations in 2018.

The ministry requested Yeida and NIAL take preventive measures to protect the environment. “Under the biodiversity conservation plan, we need to build a temporary animal rescue and rehabilitation centre on 10 hectares of land near Greenfield Noida International Airport at Jewar. We have been told that we must begin work within six months after following all procedures. Our job is to provide five hectares of land because the department of environment, forest, and climate change already has five hectares near the airport. In addition, we will fund this project in accordance with the state government’s instructions,” said Arun Vir Singh, chief executive officer of NIAL and Yeida.

On May 9, 2023, Uttar Pradesh chief secretary DS Mishra met with the civil aviation department and other officials in Lucknow to discuss this issue. According to officials familiar with the matter, the temporary rehabilitation centre will be operational for the first five years. “We require 4.5 crore for an animal rescue and rehabilitation centre and 90 lakh for the development of an animal wetland in this region,” said Harsh Kumar, special secretary for forest, environment, and climate change.

According to the airport’s draft environmental impact assessment (EIA), the area has a healthy population of sarus cranes and peacocks.

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) classification, the sarus crane is a vulnerable species. It is the state bird of Uttar Pradesh, and parts of western Uttar Pradesh, particularly the areas around Etawah and Mainpuri, have some of the world’s largest habitats for the bird. Surajpur and Dhanauri are two rich wetlands near Jewar that are both unprotected.

EIA also said that flight safety may be jeopardised if birds enter the airport’s operational area and collide with aircraft. As a mitigation measure, the report said that waste management, green cover maintenance, and other steps will be taken to ensure that the area’s bird population does not interfere with flight movement.

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