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Wildlife Plan In Coal Zones

Bhubaneswar: The State Government on Saturday decided to prepare a comprehensive wildlife management plan with help of a national level institute for newly allocated coal block areas keeping in view the safety of wild animals including elephants.

This was decided at a high-level meeting under the Chairmanship of Chief Secretary Suresh Chandra Mahapatra, wherein Additional Chief Secretary (ACS) Forest and Environment, Satyabrata Sahu outlined the issues for discussion.

Reviewing the status of forest clearance and wildlife management in newly allotted coal block areas of Angul district, Mr.Mahapatra asked the officials to engage reputed organizations like the Wildlife Institute of India or Indian Institute of Science, for preparing the plan as per national guidelines in a time bound manner, an official said.

The official said that the newly allotted coal blocks included the major blocks like Utkal E coal, Radhikapur East Coal, Radhikapur West coal, and Naini coal blocks. Their probable impact areas included Chhendipada, Kaniha, Jarpada ranges of Angul division, and Reamal range of Deogarh division.

The Chief Secretary directed to work out the comprehensive plan for protection and conservation of wild life, and mitigation of the adverse impact of coal mining on movement of elephants. He further asked to prepare the plan as per national guidelines in a time bound manner. 

Among others, Principal Secretary, Steel and Mines, Deo Ranjan Kumar Singh, Principal Chief Conservators of Forests (PCCF) Debidatta Biswal, PCCF Wildlife, Sashi Paul, Chief Conservator of Wildlife along with senior officers of concerned departments participated in the discussion. Collector and DFO of Angul appraised the field situation over video conferencing.