Projects in Mollem Sanctuary: 548 hectares forest, 224 plant, 101 bird species affected

मोले अभयारण्य प्रकल्पांचो झाडां आनी सुकण्या-सावदांक भंय?

31 Jul 2020 06:43 PM

The doubling of railway track, transmission line, four laning of national highway projects in Mollem wild life sanctuary a bio-diversity hotspot in Western Ghats would affect around 548 hectares of forest area. Out of which 170 hectares of land fall into Bhagwan Mahavir National Park.

The double tracking project would threaten 224 plant species and 101 bird species.

Shockingly, the government will not replace felled trees. Goa 365 accessed the EIA report drafted by Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore on double tracking.

The doubling of railway track form Castlerock to Margao would affect 138.39 hectares of forest.

Out of this 128.294 hectares area falls in the national park. Proposal of transmission line projects involves diversion of 146.05 hectares of forest land out of which 11.54 hectares area falls in national park.

Proposals of four laning of National Highway projects involve diversion of 93.451 hectares out of which 31.015 hectares falls in national park.

The reports in possession of Goa 365 clearly states that Environment, Forest & Climate Change has granted Stage-I in-principle approval under the Forest Conservation Act-1980 for diversion of 97.75 hectares of forest land for transmission line submitted by Goa Tamnar Transmission Project Ltd with some norms and conditions.

However, no approval has been granted under Forest Conservation Act-1980 for Doubling of Railway Track and Four Laning of National Highway.

The IIS team found 8593 trees including 225 flower plants while preparing EIA report.

It says trees are 252 mtrs tall and 265 cms wide in diameter are in way of doubling tracking project. Shockingly, the state says it will not replace the trees cut because it does not have land to do so.

The EIA report said 133 butterfly species are in way of project. Out of which 12 butterfly species are only found in western ghats.

Out 133, 186 butterfly species are represented in schedule under Wildlife Protection Act 1972. There are more butterflies in western ghat compare to most bio-diversity hotspots.

IIS team found 940 dragonfly while framing the EIA. It says there are 57 dragonfly species belonging to 11 families.

It make 32.8% of diversity in Western Ghat. Out of which nine species are only found in Western Ghat

EIA report says there are 23 fish species in the area and out of which 11 species are only found in Western Ghats.

One species fall near threatened, one in vulnerable & two in endangered category of International Union for Conservation of Nature. 

EIA says there are 24 frog species belonging to 8 families, out of which 14 species are only found in the region. Frogs habitat would be potentially affected if the projects goes ahead.

EIA said 27 reptile species belonging to 10 families were found. 16 species fall in near threatened and 1 species vulnerable category of International Union for Conservation of Nature. IIS team also found 2 snakes and one unidentified lizard dead on track while framing EIA report.

EIA further said there are 35 species of bird belonging to 21 families and out of which 9 species are native in the region.

There 54 birds nest alongside 26 kms long railway track.

IIS team conduct transects method to identify the mammals. Transects are animal signs such as Dung or pellet, scat, den, digging, scratch mark.

They found 49 mammal species including sambar, langoor, porcupine, civet cats, bonnet macaque, Malabar giant squirrel, Hanuman langoor troops during transects.

The team also sighted wild boar, moose deer, small Indian civet, brown palm civet, gaur herd and sloth bear recorded in trap cameras.

IIS team also informed that forest officials saw tiger scat, four horned antelope, tiger and leopard crossing the tracks


Reporter: Sameep Narvekar | Desk: Sameep Narvekar

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