75% Great Indian Bustard deaths due to overhead power lines

Updated 11:49 AM, 5 April, 2019

Almost 75% of Great Indian Bustard deaths over the past 30 years were caused by collision with overhead powerlines. The birds had poor frontal vision, the 30th Forest Advisory Committee meeting noted recently.

On April 4, a bench headed by National Green Tribunal (NGT) chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel asked the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) to submit a detailed report on the deaths of the Great Indian Bustard in two months. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by the Centre for Wildlife and Environment Litigation, through advocate Gaurav Bansal, seeking directions to the ministry to make bio-diversity impact assessment mandatory for every wind-power project, irrespective of its size or capacity.

The petitioner has sought a status report on the issue of undergrounding high-risk powerlines in Great Indian Bustard habitats of Thar Desert, Jaisalmer Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat and Karnataka. It has also sought a report on the issue of installation of bird flight diverter on medium-risk powerlines besides penal action against those transmission companies which have failed to adopt mitigation measures.

It has also sought a report on the issue of installation of bird flight diverter on medium-risk powerlines besides penal action against those transmission companies which have failed to adopt mitigation measures. The Great Indian Bustard is a bird found on the Indian subcontinent and has a horizontal body and long bare legs, giving it an ostrich like appearance. It is among the heaviest of the flying birds and the species is critically endangered by hunting and loss of its habitat. It is protected under the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972.