29 July, 2021

The Pinks Will Leak

A new Rann road spells disaster for flamingos

The Pinks Will Leak

A 262-km road through the Great Rann of Kutch that Amitabh Bachchan promotes in the slick Gujarat Tourism ads is threatening the subcontinent’s only nesting and breeding place for flamingos. The road, rejected twice before by the National Board for Wildlife, was hurriedly cle­ared by the reconstituted board after the new government took over at the Centre. It was stayed by the Supreme Court bec­a­use the BJP government was yet to nom­inate the mandatory quota of non-official members. Once the formality was completed, the government again approached the apex court, which removed the stay, paving the way for another road project.

The official explanation is that the road is required for the Border Security Force. But there is already an existing road, a good one at that, which the BSF uses through the saline desert. The new road, which will cut through the Kutch wildlife sanctuary, is unofficially to promote tourism in the area. It’s one of the pet projects of PM Narendra Modi, which explains why the reconstituted nwb cleared the project on...

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