Two new windmills have popped up near Desert National Park despite a court order for construction to stop.
The turbines, built not far from Jaisalmer, are in the flight path of the Great Indian Bustard, a critically endangered species with around 200 individuals left. Construction was supposed to be halted until an Eco-Sensitive Zone was demarcated.
The Great Indian Bustard was almost poached to extinction over the past four decades. Though the birds are still hunted for sport in Pakistan, a hunting ban in India has managed to protect 140 bustards in Rajasthan.
The government set up a Rs 12 crore project to save the bustard, which they launched in 2015. Late last year, 11 chicks successfully hatched in Dessert National Park, bringing the number up to 151.
But the new windmills threaten to undo this progress. Conservation activists say the bustards could be killed by the windmill blades, and that the noise made by these mills disturbs the birds.
The only permanent solution to this problem is to identify the flight path of the [Great Indian Bustard] and relocate all windmills that have already come up. The windmills are being installed in revenue land, which is not under the control of the forest department. The collector is the one granting lease of this land to windmill firms. He should prevent the installation of these mills on the route of the bird.Anoop KR, Head of the Desert National Park
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