SRINAGAR: The Jammu and Kashmir High Court on Wednesday directed the Ministry of Power, Government of India (GoI), to submit before it by the next hearing the approval for laying a transmission line through the Hirpora wildlife sanctuary in south Kashmir.
The direction was passed by the division bench of Justice Ramalingam Sudhakar and Justice M K Hanjura after the court was told that the state government had granted permission for the said project.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) submitting that the authorities have devastated the sanctuary and its species by carrying a transmission line through it and blasting its peripheries with heavy machinery.
The counsel representing the petitioners stated that by the government’s permitting the transmission line, the sanctuary’s flora and fauna have been placed under threat. Already many animals and plants have been destroyed here by heavy blasting.
The counsel informed court that an order of the state government dated 4.10.2016, granting permission for laying the power transmission line through the sanctuary, will have adverse effects. Without proper application of mind, the authorities are hell-bent on destroying the sanctuary,” the counsel submitted.
After hearing the counsel, the court sought the approval order from the GoI so as to ascertain whether the government has indeed given clearance for the said project.
It was also submitted during the course of proceedings that while laying 42 towers out of 44, certain violations have been found for which costs of Rs 247.50 lakh have been imposed, which have been deposited before the proper forum.
The court meanwhile directed the state counsel representing the forest department to call upon the Principal Chief Conservator to inspect the site and report to the court whether the presence of any violation of the permission order.
The court, however, has been informed by the state counsel that while laying the transmission line, care is being taken with regard to the wildlife sanctuary and steps are taken to safeguard the interests of the sanctuary.