Coming to the rescue of endangered birds — the great Indian bustard and the lesser florican, which are dying in large numbers due to collisions with high-voltage power lines, the Supreme Court Tuesday asked the Rajasthan government to consider laying underground cables.
The top court said they are large birds and it is difficult for them to maneuver due to the high-tension power lines which obstruct their flight paths.
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) shared the concern of the court and said that there is no other option but to lay power cables underground to protect the great Indian bustard (GIB) and lesser florican (LF).
A bench of Chief Justice S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Surya Kant asked senior advocate Manish Singhvi, appearing for the Rajasthan government, to take instructions from the competent authority for laying of cables underground.
“It appears that one of the dangers is the presence of power lines, which obstruct the flight path of the of GIB. It is well known that the GIB is a larger bird and it is difficult for it to maneuver easily in its flight. One of the solutions suggested to avoid any collision in its flight path is that the over-head wires be laid down underground”.
It asked Singhvi to take instructions within two weeks and apprise the court about the manner in which the power lines could be laid down underground.
At the outset, the top court said that the state government can look into modifying the contract of private companies for laying down the cables underground.