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Press Trust Of India
Kolkata, October 13, 2010
The West Bengal Government has expressed reservation over the proposed Sankosh-Teesta canal project which will pass through Buxa Tiger Reserve and other wildlife sancturaries in north Bengal, saying it will cause disturbance to wildlife and damage biodiversity. "The entire area is part of Eastern Dooars Elephant Reserve and Buxa Tiger Reserve as well as part of Jaldapara and Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuaries. Any disturbance would adversely affect Rhino and Tiger conservation efforts there and cause irreparable damage to biodiversity," Special Chief Conservator of Forest R P Saini said.

Chief wildlife warden of the state S B Mandal said the state government had conveyed its objection to the Union Forest and Environment Ministry about the project's proposed alignment.

Saini, also field director of the Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR), said Union Environment and Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh, who had visited north Bengal early this month, assured forest officials that the project would not be allowed through BTR.

Saini said recently a team of the Indian Council of Forestry Research and Education wanted to carry out a survey for environment impact assessment in BTR, but it was told by the chief wildlife warden that permission for any kind of survey in national parks and sanctuaries could only be awarded by the Union Environment and Forest Ministry.