4-member panel to study wildlife clearance at Reliance Cement in Yavatmal | Nagpur News
Nagpur: The new cement plant project of Reliance Cement Company Private Limited (RCCPL) a 100% subsidiary of Birla Corporation Limited in the Mukutban area of Yavatmal district will have to wait now as a four-member committee has been appointed to study the proposed wildlife clearance.
On January 22, 2018, the RCCPL had received Phase II authorization from the Department of the Environment for the diversion of 467.45 hectares of forest land reserved under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980. There was no no mention of permission from the wildlife wing of the forestry department.
The tiger zone belongs to compartment numbers C-26, C-27 and C-33 (A) which fall in the villages of Hirapur, Govindpur and Pimparwadi in Zari-Jamni taluka under the forest division of Pandharkawada in the forest circle of Yavatmal.
According to the documentation, there are resident tigers in the diverted area. On April 26, a pregnant tigress with four cubs in the womb was burned alive by disbelievers in the Mukutban range. The area is on the north side of the proposed cement plant.
Land diversion encountered obstacles in 2019 when it was found that all of the forest area proposed for diversion fell into the tiger corridor of Tipeshwar-Tadoba-Andhari Wildlife Reserve and Kawal Tiger Reserves.
The patch is also part of the Tiger Conservation Plan (TCP) approved by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (TATR) in 2016-26. Section 38 (O) (1) (g) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act (WPA), 1972, calls for “ensuring that tiger reserves and areas connecting a protected area or tiger reserve to another protected area or tiger reserve are not diverted. for ecologically unsustainable uses, except in the public interest and with the approval of the National Wildlife Council (NBWL) and on the advice of the NTCA ”.
The NTCA had also requested a report on the project falling into the corridor. As a result, PCCF (wildlife) Nitin H Kakodkar had requested a proposal on wildlife clearing from the then deposed director of the Melghat Tiger Reserve (MTR).
“Now, before laying the groundwork for wildlife clearing, the state chief game warden has established a four-member committee to study the proposal. The committee will visit the site before making a decision, ”sources said.
The committee will be chaired by CCF and MTR Field Director, Yavatmal Circle Curator, State Wildlife Board Member Kishor Rithe and Honorary Yavatmal Wildlife Custodian Ramzan Virani . The committee has been asked to submit a report within a month.
YOU on August 26, 2019 was the first to talk about it. The company will now have to seek authorizations from the State Wildlife Council (SBWL) followed by the NBWL.
In 2018, the authorization of the Reliance cement project snowballed into a big controversy as wildlife activists alleged the tigress Pandharkawda T1 aka Avni was shot to clear the way for the cement plant. But the proposed area is 70 km (as the crow flies) from the T1 territory.
Sources said the forest to be diverted is of high value with a density of 0.4. There are resident tigers in the area and the forest is contiguous, the plant will sever connectivity.
The request for diversion of forest land was officially moved in July 2009 and approval in principle came in 2012, but due to non-compliances the proposal was on hold. Final approval came in January 2018 after completing all formalities including payment of the net present value (NPV). The Birla Corporation plans to invest Rs 2,400 crore in the project.