Wildlife board clears project falling in J-K national park
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The National Board for Wildlife headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has cleared construction of the 1,000 MW Pakal Dul Hydroelectric Power Project, part of which falls in the Kishtwar National Park, and which was awaiting a go-ahead for the past two years.
The State Wildlife Department has received a communication from the board in this regard. Around 3.46 sq km of the national park falls under the project. The board met at New Delhi recently and the state had put forth its case for clearance at the meeting. The Union Forest Minister finally gave the go-ahead.
The Rs 6,000-crore project will be built on the Marsudhar, a tributary of the Chenab, and now it will be referred to the Supreme Court for clearance.
Chief Wildlife Warden, Jammu and Kashmir, A K Srivastava said that they had prepared a wildlife management plan and the NHPC, which is constructing the project, will provide the money to offset the damage to the park.
The NHPC is expected to provide Rs 236 crore to the department and of that, Rs 136 crore will be spent on preparation of wildlife maps, strengthening of anti-poaching measures and engagement of staff for wildlife protection.
According to state wildlife officials, while clearing the Pakal Dul project, the Wildlife Department has been directed to redefine the core area of the Kishtwar park. There are 35 villages around the park and they will be kept out of the newly delineated area.
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