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TN forest department raise objections against dilution of powers of Wild Life Board

- February 22, 2022

Chennai, Feb 22 (BPNS)

The Tamil Nadu state forest department has raised objections against dilution of powers to State Wild Life board.  The forest department has in a communique to the Union environment ministry said that certain new rules inserted in the Wild Life Protection Act amendment Bill 2021 are against the spirit of the conservation of wild life.

A new section, 8A(1) was inserted on the basis of which a standing committee of the state board of the wild life will be set up. It will be headed by the forest minister of the state along with 10 members nominated by the minister.

This, according to the NGO’s and the state forest department will lead to the state government having full control of the conservation policy as well as approval of project proposals that require the use of forest areas.

State forest department sent a message to the parliamentary standing committee on environment and headed by former Union minister, Jairam Ramesh stating that this amendment was an unnecessary insertion and that the State Wild life board was only to clear projects and to give significant inputs to the state government on wild life conservation and species management.

The forest department of Tamil Nadu in the message to the Parliamentary standing committee on environment also said that replacing the State wild life board with a standing committee headed by the Forest minister will not do any good.

Jairam Ramesh in a tweet said that the Wild Life (Protection )Amendment Bill 2021 has not been based on wide spread consultations with the experts in the industry. He also said that the Bill has several short comings and that it was poorly drafted.

The former Union Environment Minister said that he had received over 70 responses from experts and institutions on the amendment of the Wild Life ( Protection ) Amendment Bill. The former minister also said that the parliamentary committee has a very complicated task of examining the 50 amendments proposed. He said that he is involving a large number of professionals in multidisciplinary tasks.

Kasinathan, President, of the NGO, ‘Thanal’ that works for the conservation of animals while speaking to BPNS said, “ If the bill is passed there will be several issues including too much political interference.”.

He said that until now State boards are still able to speak in the interests of wild animals and wild fife.