The Nagpur bench of the Bombay High Court has directed the Maharashtra government to come up with a joint action plan with the Centre for preservation and conservation of the Sarus crane, the world’s tallest flying bird, in Gondia, Bhandara and Chandrapur districts of the state.
The HC gave the direction after taking taking suo motu (on its own) cognizance of the matter.
A division bench of Justices Sunil Shukre and Anil Pansare on Wednesday directed the government to carry out a detailed survey of Sarus crane birds in these three districts of eastern Maharashtra and submit a report to the court within two months.
The bench also ordered that a district-level committee be set up in Gondia, Bhandara and Chandrapur – ‘Sarus Conservation Committee’ – to redress issues arising out of preservation and conservation of these birds.
The HC took note of a report submitted by an NGO, Sustaining Environment and Wildlife Assemblage (SEWA), of Gondia district and said the areas of immediate concern are high mortality of Sarus crane birds due to their coming in contact with electricity transmission lines, eating of grass that is adulterated with pesticides and insecticides and falling prey to stray dogs.
We request the State Authorities as well as the Central government authorities to prepare a joint action plan for preservation and conservation of Sarus birds in three districts of Gondia, Chandrapur and Bhandara, it said.
The bench also directed for a comprehensive plan for radio tagging of Sarus crane birds in these three districts to be prepared and sanctioned by the state government.
“We further direct that the Sarus birds be included in the ‘Bio-diversity Register’ of the concerned places,” it said.