On Monday, the Supreme Court ordered the establishment of a committee to examine the possibility of laying underground power lines to help save the Great Indian Bustard from extinction.
Dr. Rahul Rawat, Dr. Sutirtha Dutta of the Wildlife Institute of India, and Dr. Devesh Gadhavi, Deputy Director of the Corbett Foundation, were named to a three-member committee by the Bench of Chief Justice of India SA Bobde, Justices AS Bopanna and V Ramasubramanian.
The Committee's main objective will be to determine the viability of burying high-voltage powerlines. The Court made this decision after noticing that the presence of overhead powerlines was causing the birds to be killed.
In areas where existing overhead powerlines are located, authorities have been directed to take steps forthwith to install divertors. For all future installation of transmission lines, a study shall be conducted on the feasibility of laying underground lines, the order states. The order states,
"In all cases where overhead powerlines occur today in the priority and future GIB region, the respondents shall mount diverters as soon as possible, pending consideration of the overhead cables being converted to underground powerlines."
In the future, all low-voltage powerlines to be installed in Great Indian Bustard environments must be laid underground, according to the Bench.
The Court stated that the cost of installing underground lines would be "substantial."
"Regardless of cost, the goal must be to save the near-extinct birds."