CEA Regulations for Great Indian Bustard Area
- 09 Mar 2023
- 3 min read
Why in News?
The Central Electricity Authority (CEA) has issued Draft Central Electricity Authority (Construction of Electric Lines in Great Indian Bustard Area) Regulations, 2023, making mandatory for electric lines to be underground or overhead through the ‘Great Indian Bustard (GIB) Area’.
- The regulations came in light of a case in the Supreme Court (SC) on the issue of threat to the endangered Great Indian Bustards.
- As per the regulations, all electric lines of 33 kV and below passing through the ‘Great Indian Bustard Area’ will be underground, while those above 33KV will be overhead lines installed with bird flight diverters.
- These diverters are aimed at improving power line visibility for birds and reducing the risk of collision.
What is GIB?
- The Great Indian Bustard (Ardeotis nigriceps), the State bird of Rajasthan, is considered India’s most critically endangered bird.
- It is considered the flagship grassland species, representing the health of the grassland ecology.
- Its population is confined mostly to Rajasthan and Gujarat. Small populations occur in Maharashtra, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.
- The bird is under constant threats due to collision/electrocution with power transmission lines, hunting (still prevalent in Pakistan), habitat loss and alteration as a result of widespread agricultural expansion, etc.
- Protection Status:
- IUCN red List: Critically Endangered
- Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES): Appendix1
- Convention on Migratory Species (CMS): Appendix I
- Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972: Schedule I
What are the Measures to Protect GIB?
- Species Recovery Programme:
- It is kept under the species recovery programme under the Integrated evelopment of Wildlife Habitats of the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change (MoEFCC).
- National Bustard Recovery Plans:
- It is currently being implemented by conservation agencies.
- Conservation Breeding Facility:
- MoEF&CC, Rajasthan government and Wildlife Institute of India (WII) have also established a conservation breeding facility in Desert National Park at Jaisalmer in June 2019.
- Project Great Indian Bustard:
- It has been launched by the Rajasthan government with an aim of constructing breeding enclosures for the species and developing infrastructure to reduce human pressure on its habitats.
- Eco-Friendly Measures:
- Task Force for suggesting eco-friendly measures to mitigate impacts of power transmission lines and other power transmission infrastructures on wildlife including the Great Indian Bustard.