Adani Electricity, which is implementing the 400 kV Kharghar Vikhroli transmission line, has passed yet another major test after the Maharashtra State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) has given its approval for the project implementation. The SBWL’s nod was necessary as the project passes through the Thane Creek Flamingo Sanctuary, which is a protected area. So far, the company has received approvals from the forest department, MCZMA, Salt Commissioner, Railways and the Maharashtra Maritime Board
Adani Electricity arm Kharghar Vikhroli Transmission Pvt Ltd hopes to complete the project, which will pave the way for bringing in additional 1,000 MW to Mumbai, by June 2023
Forest minister Sudhir Mungantiwar, who chaired the SBWL's meeting, told The Free Press Journal, “The SBWL has given its clearance subject to a slew of mitigation measures to be carried by the project proponent.’’ The company will deposit two per cent of the project cost with Mangrove and Maritime Biodiversity Conservation Foundation of Maharashtra. The deposited amount will be used for works within Thane Creek Flamingo sanctuary and its eco-sensitive zone.
According to the SBWL, the company, which will bear the cost of mitigation measures, will have to take all precautionary measures for conservation and protection of flora, fauna in the vicinity. “Project personnel engaged in the project work shall observe the provisions of all the existing legal provisions especially Environment (Protection) Act, 1986, Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980 and rules made there under,’’ it underlined.
The proposal involves felling of 1,854 trees, including 1,732 mangroves. Hence, the project proponent will bear cost of afforestation of mangroves and also provide the cost of planting mangrove trees. “As project requires cutting mangroves trees, the user agency shall obtain permission from the Bombay High before the commencement of work. The project will be constructed in the vicinity of areas classified as CRZ I, having a wide variety of avifauna diversity, therefore adoption of measures for conservation of avifauna's habitat will be desirable,’’ said the SBWL.
Further, the company will make provision for barricading the work site to avoid any human or wildlife mishaps. The SBWL has clarified that the normal flow of traffic should not be affected and norms of noise, air and water pollution should be strictly followed.
“The laying transmission line and its ancillary works should be carried out with utmost care so as to cause least impact on the wildlife in the notified protected area and final eco-sensitive zone. No dumping of debris on wet lands and forest areas will be done by the company. Any violation will be dealt with strictly,’’ warned the SBWL.