Damage to Hirpora wildlife sanctuary: HC seeks Govt response

The division bench of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice MK Hanjura sought the response to the plea within four weeks.

D A RASHID
Srinagar, Publish Date: Nov 15 2017 12:55AM | Updated Date: Nov 15 2017 12:55AM
Damage to Hirpora wildlife sanctuary: HC seeks Govt responseFile Photo

The High Court on Monday directed Government of India as well the state government to respond to the plea seeking directions for protection of Hirpora wildlife sanctuary.

The division bench of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice MK Hanjura sought the response to the plea within four weeks.

Advocate Bakhat Parvaiz submitted that the sanctuary has suffered huge loss due to the 4000 KV D/C power project as illegal blasting is carried out in the area. “The power project has immensely affected the fauna and flora of the area,” he said. He submitted that Hirpora Santuary is a fragile ecosystem which is bound to be damaged in the name of development in the area. 

He said that the Sterlite Power and its contractors Tata Projects have been assigned the project of laying 400 KV D/C Samba-Amargah line to provide power supply in Akhnoor, Rajouri, Poonch and Shopian. To avoid damage to the flora and fauna, he submitted that the company had to lay the power line and erect towers in the wildlife sanctuary manually to avoid damaging flora and fauna of the area.

“In violation of Supreme Court orders, the company has used heavy machines to carry out illegal blasting in the sanctuary. The illegal blasting has destroyed the property in the surrounding areas.” 

The petitioner pleaded that the company had to pay a penalty of Rs 2.47 crores on the estimation done by a panel constituted by government but it has not paid any fine. 

The petitioner pleads that according to survey conducted by Wildlife Trust of India, there is 50 percent decline in the population of endangered Pir Panjal Markhor from 70 in 2003-2004 to 35 in 2013-2014.

“The 341 sq km which is already under stress with the construction of Mughal Road has led to severe decline in the population of Markhor,” he said.