Supreme Court’s Suggestion on saving Great Indian Bustard

The Supreme Court of India has given its suggestion in the behalf of the critically endangered Great Indian Bustards after the number of birds falling dead due to collision with power lines is increasing over time. These power line run through the dwindling natural habitats of the Indian Bustards in the states of Gujarat and Rajasthan.

Supreme Court’s Take

The Bench led by Chief Justice, Sharad A. Bobde, will examine whether the overhead power lines could be replaced with the underground cable lines in order to save the heaviest flying birds. The court also found an alternative mechanism that is to install the flight bird diverters in order to guide the birds away from power lines would not be a cost-effective method. In fact, such diverters are of the nature of recurring costs and will cost more than installing and maintaining the underground lines.

Centre’s Take

However, the Attorney General K.K. Venugopal appeared for the Power Ministry and submitted that only low voltage lines can be replaced but not the high voltage cables.

Great Indian bustard

The scientific name of the Indian Bustard is Ardeotis nigriceps. This bustard is found on Indian subcontinent. It is a large bird having a horizontal body and long bare legs. It has an ostrich like appearance. It is one among the heaviest flying birds. The bird was once common along the dry plains of Indian subcontinent. But it reduced to 250 in 2011 which further reduced to 150 in 2018. The bird is listed as “Critically Endangered” and is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 in India.

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