JavaScript must be enabled in order for you to use the Site in standard view. However, it seems JavaScript is either disabled or not supported by your browser. To use standard view, enable JavaScript by changing your browser options.

| Last Updated:13/07/2020

Latest News


Nod to submergence of cheer pheasant habitat: MoEF sees red over move

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest (MoEF) has directed the government to initiate action against officials responsible for giving nod to the submergence of the habitat of the endangered cheer pheasant in the Kol Dam water and identify 22 habitats for the highly protected bird within two months.

Taking a serious cognizance of the proposed submergence of the cheer pheasant habitat once water is released from the 800-MW Kol Dam in Bilaspur, Himachal has been asked to identify alternative habitats, while setting a deadline of two months.

With Union Environment Minister Jayanti Natrajan taking a serious view of the issue, a high-level meeting chaired by Chief Secretary Sudripta Roy was held here last week to take immediate steps.

The meeting was attended by officials from the Forest, Wildlife and Revenue Departments and it was decided to identify 22 areas which could be developed as a habitat for cheer pheasants.

About 9 sq km of the 39.38 sq km Majathal wildlife sanctuary area, considered the birthplace and of cheer pheasant, is likely to be submerged in the dam waters.

The state government is also contemplating action which should be initiated against those in the Forest Department who gave the nod to the submergence of the Majathal wildlife sanctuary. "We are likely to issue warning to the officials who gave the approvals and intimate the action to the Union Environment Ministry," admitted a senior official.

The Ministry of Forest and Environment has also directed that 500 hectares should be identified and handed over to the Forest Department to develop as a habitat of the pheasants. "We have identified four sites near Chail where we can recreate the ideal habitat desired by the winged creatures," revealed a forest official. He added efforts to get land clearance from the Deputy Commissioners were afoot so that a compliance report could be sent to the Ministry of Forest.

It has also been made clear to the Himachal government that there should be no further delay on the issue as there can be no delay in releasing water from the Kol Dam project. As such, all directives will have to be followed soon.

Notwithstanding the furore by wildlife experts and environmentalists over the submergence of the habitat, the government went ahead and gave its nod to pave way for the 800 MW hydro-project being executed by the NTPC.

 The Union Ministry of Environment and Forest for action against erring officials who gave nod to submergence of cheer pheasant habitat
 A deadline of two months has been set for identifying 22 new habitats
 Himachal asked to hand over 500 hectares for recreating habitat

The Tribune (06-08-2013)