State hopeful of clean chit to Laldhang-Chillarkhal motor road: Rawat
MLAs express concern over lack of data on dwindling faunal species
The State Government is hoping that the National Wildlife Board will give a clean chit to the Laldhang-Chillarkhal motor road passing through Corbett landscape which will provide a shorter link between Garhwal and Kumaon regions. The State’s Forest and Wildlife minister Harak Singh Rawat said this in response to a question in the Vidhan Sabha. Replying to another question regarding the status of threatened wildlife species in the state, the minister was unable to provide a satisfactory answer.
Congress MLA Pritam Singh asked when the construction of the Laldhang-Chillarkhal motor road will be completed. The minister replied that in observance of the Supreme Court decision, further action will be taken in this case after agreement/approval from the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and other bodies concerned. He said that the State Government had followed all rules and work had started on about 70 per cent of the project but the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) took cognisance of a newspaper report, after which State Government assured the Supreme Court that all rules will be followed by the state government. “The National Wildlife Board is set to meet on December 17 and we considering the talks I have had with government officials, we are hopeful that the board will give a clean chit to this project.”
Independent MLA Pritam Singh Panwar asked the minister about the total number of wildlife species and whether the government is aware of some species facing extinction in the state due to decrease in forest area and environmental degradation. The minister replied that as per the Zoological Survey of India, there are 3,748 fauna species in the state. Though none of the species are threatened, efforts are being undertaken for wildlife and habitat conservation. He said that there is no authentic wildlife survey by a national or state agency to ascertain whether the numbers of a particular species are dwindling towards extinction. Panwar questioned this contention, stating that it was common knowledge that numbers of the Himalayan Serow, different species of vultures and some other birds were decreasing at an alarming rate. BJP MLA Munna Singh Chauhan also expressed concern stating that this is an alarming matter, adding that it is not as if the MoEFCC doesn’t have census data. Citing the example of dwindling vulture numbers, he said that this would have a serious impact on the ecological balance.
Thursday, 05 December 2019 | PNS | Dehradun
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