Shaktisinh Gohil, the senior Congress leader, had sought to know the number of GIBs in Kutch Bustard Sanctuary as on January 1 and if it is a fact that these birds of grassland die due to collision with windmills and electric wires in the sanctuary.
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CITING INFORMATION provided by the Gujarat government, Union Minister of State for Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Ashwini Kumar Choubey on Monday stated that there was no Great Indian Bustard (GIB) in Kutch Bustard Sanctuary as on January 1 this year.
“As per the information provided by the state government, there is no Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary (GIB) in the Kutch Bustard Sanctuary, as on January 1, 2021,” the Union minister informed the Rajya Sabha through a written reply to questions asked by Shaktisinh Gohil, the Rajya Sabha member from Gujarat.
Gohil, the senior Congress leader, had sought to know the number of GIBs in Kutch Bustard Sanctuary as on January 1 and if it is a fact that these birds of grassland die due to collision with windmills and electric wires in the sanctuary.
The MP had also further sought to know steps being taken or proposed to be taken if the birds are dying after colliding with windmills and overhead cables. But the Union Minister stated that the question of the birds dying after colliding with windmills and powerlines and steps to prevent them does not arise as no birds were spotted.
But Devesh Gadhvi, deputy director of Kutch Ecological Research Centre, a division of The Corbett Foundation termed the question ‘very tricky.’ Said Gadhvi: “The answer that there were no GIBs in the sanctuary on that given day is right. But the sanctuary is just two square kilometres. Majority of GIB population as such is surviving outside the sanctuary, within the eco-sensitive zone and surrounding area spanning around 2000 square kilometres. The question was very tricky.”
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Gadhvi, who has done extensive research on GIBs and their habitats in Kutch, however, added that it was not true that there are no GIBs in Kutch. “Of course, within the sanctuary, on a specific date it is very difficult to site GIBs. Bustards are not going to stand there forever. They keep on moving from one area to other… But to say there is no bustard is completely wrong. Last February, there was sighting of four bustards together in Khirasara. Just on 9th of July, I saw two bustards and one was reported by a villager,” said the researcher.
The two square kilometre Lala-Budiya Great Indian Bustard Sanctuary is located near Lala village of Abdasa taluka of Kutch.