The Ministry of Environment and Forests on Wednesday agreed with the contentions raised by the National Green Tribunal (NGT, South) in Chennai that the Amrit Mahal Kaval grassland ecosystems in Challakere, Chitradurga district, constitute a critical habitat for the Great Indian Bustard, a ‘critically endangered species’.

Following the applications submitted by the tribunal constituting Justice M Chockalingam and Prof R Nagendran, the ministry said that the Kavals constitute “a potential habitat of Great Indian Bustard.”

The tribunal on August 21 had ordered a status quo on all project activities proposed in the Kaval.

In March, after the government handed over more than 10,000 acres of Amrit Mahal Kaval to science institutions such as Defence Research Development Organisation, Bhabha Atomic Research Centre, Indian Space Research Organisation, Indian Institute of Science, Sagitaur, activists Leo F Saldanha and Arthur Pereira, requested the NGT to direct a detailed study of the socio-economic impacts due to these projects.

They also sought directions to the State and Central governments to ensure that grasslands are protected and steps are taken to recognise the rights of dependent communities like local tribals and the removal of civil construction on that land.

Courtesy: The New Indian Express

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