Shopian Wildlife Sanctuary: HC Seeks Protection Measures

SRINAGAR — The Jammu and Kashmir High Court has directed Chief Wildlife Warden to suggest what measures are necessary to ensure restoration of the Hirpora Wildlife Sanctuary situated in Shopian in south Kashmir within two weeks.

The sanctuary is home to Himalayan Brown Bear, Himalayan Black Bear, Musk Deer, Leopard, Tibetan Wolf, Himalayan Palm Civet and around 50 individuals of the critically endangered Pir Panjal Markhor, besides 130 bird species.

“Let the Chief Wildlife Warden as well as the petitioner place before this Court the damage which would have enured to all concerns of the environment on account of the violation by respondent no.16. (private company). Both the petitioner as well as the Chief Wildlife Warden, shall suggest what measures are necessary to ensure restoration of the Wildlife Sanctuary and to remove the ill effects of the omissions and commissions of respondent no.16. The report on these aspects be filed within two weeks from today,” a bench comprsing Chief Justice Gita Mittal and Justice Dhiraj Singh Thakur said while hearing a PIL.  

The petition alleges that a company entrusted with the laying of Transmission Line through Hir­pora Wildlife sanctuary has vio­lated the norms. The company was supposed to lay the power line and erect towers in the sanctuary on the condition that the work should be done manually so as to avoid damage to the flora and fauna of the area but it has used heavy ma­chinery for the purpose.

The PIL has sought immediate steps for the conservation and preservation of Hirpora Sanctuary from illegal and unlawful blasting and heavy machinery.

“The Chief Wildlife Warden shall also inform this court as to whether the penalty amount would be sufficient to meet the costs of the restoration measures which are required to be undertaken,’ the court added. 


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