Jairam Ramesh keen on protective endangered reptiles

Chennai, Dec 28 (ANI): Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh has said that a sanctuary for ghariyals (fresh water crocodiles) spread over 1,600 sq km will be created along the Chambal River in Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh to protect the species from extinction.

On a visit to the famous Crocodile Bank in Tamil Nadu, Ramesh said: "The Ministry had approved the proposal and allotted Rs. eight crore. At present, there were only 200 breeding adult ghariyals and their total population in the wild would be a mere 1,400. The sanctuary would help stabilise the population."

Ramesh also spoke about the Green Tribunal, which has been constituted to look into cases related to environmental violations.

"National Green Tribunal Act that was passed by the Parliament last year, we have already appointed the Chairman of the Tribunal Justice I. S. Punta, a retired judge of the Supreme Court. In the next month or two, we will be appointing the other judicial and expert members," he said

"We will be the third or the fourth country in the world to have specialised environment court. The National Green Tribunal and this would deal with civil cases not criminal cases. This will deal with civil cases having to do with environment and forests," he added.

Ramesh also revealed a plan for the reintroduction of the cheetah, which became extinct in India nearly a century ago due to excessive hunting.

He said the government had approved two sanctuaries in Madhya Pradesh and Rajasthan for captive breeding of the wild cat, which will be sourced from Africa.

He said the Ministry also planned to clean up the River Ganga, where dolphins were dying due to increased pollution levels. (ANI)

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