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Sarus Protection Society to be instituted in UP for cranes

Written by: Staff
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Lucknow, Apr 25 (UNI) To prevent extinction of cranes in and around Mainpuri and Etawah, the Uttar Pradesh government today decided to set up Sarus Protection Society (SPS) for its conservation and rehabilitation.

The preservation and conservation of Sarus -- the UP state bird -- alongwith research would be the main agenda for SPS to be registered under the 1860 Act.

The decision to set up the society was taken by the state cabinet here and an interim fund of Rs 10 crore had been sanctioned for the society.

Principal secretary (forest) would be the chairperson of the society with representations from all concerned departments, while chief wildlife warden would be its ex-officio secretary. The society would also have representation from Forest Research Institute, Dehradun, Bombay Natural History Society and Crane Foundation of India.

Sources said in the cabinet meeting the CM expressed concern over the decreasing numbers of 'Sarus' in Etawah and Mainpuri areas.

Earlier, the Supreme Court had taken cognisance of the decreasing number of 'Sarus' in the country and the UP government effort for expansion of an air strip near Saifai in Etawah. A team of experts had also visited the area to undertake a study.

The airstrip expansion plan sounded alarm bells for many, who are concerned with the conservation of wetlands and in particular the habitat of 'Sarus'.

Taking a cue from the information and pre-empting any possible danger that maybe caused to wetlands, an application was filed by the Wildlife Trust of India against the UP government before the Central Empowered Committee of the Supreme Court, a monitoring body established by the court in 2002 for a period of five yrs.

The application seeks a stay on the expansion of air strip. In the petition, the applicant drew attention towards immediate threat to crane's habitat, and the fact that the construction of air strip was bound to have a detrimental impact.

This impact is likely to be caused due to the filling up of wetlands as well as resultant disturbances in the form of increased noise and air pollution, as well as from vehicular traffic.

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