Maharashtra Board for Wildlife clears 400 kV Kharghar Vikhroli transmission line

Adani Electricity, which is implementing Khaghar Vikhroli’s 400 kV transmission line, passed another major test after the Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) granted its approval for the project implementation. SBWL’s nod was necessary as the project passes through the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary, which is a protected area. To date, the company has received permits from the Forest Service, MCZMA, the Salt Commissioner, the Railways and the Maharashtra Maritime Board

Adani Electricity arm Kharghar Vikhroli Transmission Pvt Ltd hopes to complete the project by June 2023, which will pave the way for an additional 1,000MW to Mumbai

Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, chairman of the SBWL meeting, told The Free Press Journal: “The SBWL has given its approval subject to a number of mitigation actions to be taken by the project advocate.” The company will deposit two percent of the project costs with Mangrove and Maritime Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra. The amount deposited will be used for works at the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary and its Environmentally Sensitive Zone.

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According to the SBWL, the company that will bear the costs of mitigation measures must take all precautionary measures to preserve and protect the flora and fauna in the area. “Project staff involved in project work shall comply with the provisions of all existing legislation, in particular the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and the regulations made under it.” underlined.

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The proposal involves cutting down 1,854 trees, including 1,732 mangroves. Therefore, the project promoter bears the cost of mangrove afforestation and also bears the cost of planting mangrove trees. “Because the project requires the felling of mangrove trees, the user agency must obtain approval from Bombay High before beginning work. The project will be built in the vicinity of areas classified as CRZ I with a high diversity of bird species, therefore the adoption of measures to conserve bird life habitat is desirable,” said the SBWL.

In addition, the company will take precautions to barricade the site to avoid accidents involving people or wildlife. The SBWL has made it clear that the normal flow of traffic must not be disrupted and that standards for noise, air and water pollution must be strictly observed.

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“The laying of the transmission line and its ancillary works should be carried out with the utmost care to minimize the impact on wildlife in the nominated protected area and final environmentally sensitive zone. The company does not carry out landfills on wetlands and forest areas. Any violation will be severely punished,” warned the SBWL.

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