Remove illegal power lines in Kawal tiger reserve: HC

Exhorting all government wings concerned to make concerted efforts for wildlife conservation, Telangana High Court on Thursday passed a slew of directions including removal of all unauthorised power lines in Kawal Tiger Reserve which is spread over northern parts of the State. A Division Bench comprising Chief Justice Thottathil B. Radhakrishnan and Justice A. Rajasheker Reddy directed the government to enforce all laws vigorously to ensure tigers and other animals were protected in Kawal reserve and elsewhere in the State. Two days ago, the Bench directed personal appearance of top forest officials seeking to know from them the measures for wildlife conservation after activist Diya Sur filed a PIL on the matter. Along with Kawal Tiger Reserve Field Director Sharvanand, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests P.K. Jha appeared before the Bench on Thursday. As the CJ enquired about the problems being faced by them, Mr. Sharvanand said unauthorised usage of electric fences by people were resulting in animal deaths. The CJ instructed Telangana State Northern Power Distribution Company Limited officials to immediately remove all such connections in the tiger reserve. He also instructed them to use aerial bundled (AB) cables for better insulation of power lines in forest areas. Unified command He ordered that a unified command be created, assigning the responsibility of saving tigers to one field officer for better management. The Bench said the State forest officials can take help of National Tiger Conservation Authority for any technical or financial support. Assistant Solicitor General K. Lakshman said the Centre was ready to extend financial and technical support to the State for saving tigers. Already, the Centre has sanctioned funds and consented to give firearms to forest officials. The officials presented to the Bench that separate Special Tiger Protection Forces for Amrabad and Kawal reserves were being created. Members of these forces would be provided with firearms.

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