Friday, December 2, 2011

Gujarat government orders insulation of high tension cables to save flamingos.

AHMEDABAD: Insulate high tension cables or put them underground when they run close to the breeding grounds of the migratory greater flamingos in the Khadir region of Kutch. The state forest & environment department issued this order to the Gujarat Energy Transmission Company (Getco) on Thursday after TOI reported that 400 flamingos were electrocuted in the past 10 days.

Principal secretary, forests & environment, SK Nanda told TOI, "Getco will have to complete the work before September 2012, before a new batch of flamingos arrives." He also asked senior forest officers to identify other such sites where the birds may be in danger. "We will ensure the cables are laid underground at all sites used by the flamingos." The officials have already identified an eight km stretch in Khadir where maximum birds have been killed.

TOI had reported on Thursday that the largest number of birds may have been killed at night. They may have been startled by a passing vehicle or an attack by a predatory bird and flown straight into the high tension cables difficult to see in the dark. On Thursday, Gujarat principal chief conservator of forests S K Goyal held a series of meetings with Getco officials to find out ways to reduce flamingo deaths. Surinder Kumar Negi, Getco's managing director, said, "We are sending a team of experts to the area to find a solution."

Until the cables are put underground, Getco will cover them with reflector tape which will shine at night and hopefully keep the birds at bay. 

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