Panjim: The Goa Tamnar Transmission Project Limited (GTTPL), an Inter State Transmission System project envisaged by the Ministry of Power in 2015 to address Goa’s growing power demand, announced that it had proactively initiated the Biodiversity Impact Assessment (BIA) study in 2018 and subsequently published the Biodiversity Management Plan (BMP) in 2019 for its transmission line corridor in the protected area of Goa.The full report has been placed in the public domain.
Biodiversity Impact Assessment is a decision-support tool that enables biodiversity inclusive development, planning and implementation. As per the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972, there is no statutory requirement to conduct BIA if the area of diversion is below 50 Ha in protected areas. Although, GTTPL’s proposed diversion in protected area is only 11.54 Ha, the company,during the conceptualization stage of the project in 2018,voluntarily conducted the study anddeveloped the Biodiversity Management Plan to guide its planning and execution.
The BIA/BM Phighlights that the construction process will cause no permanent damage to the environment, and any disruption will be recoverable over the medium term. Some of the adopted mitigation measures as proposed in the report are as below:
* Animal protection measures like culverts would be built on approach road to substation, to ensure safe passage of animals
* Bird diverters on the conductor and perch rejecters on transmission tower would be installed along the transmission line corridor
* Free movement of animals on the ground allowed and minimum impact on the movement of birds due to tower height of 45-54 meters
* To minimize even the temporary impact during construction, in the forest area, the construction practices adopted will ensure that there is no movement of vehicles beyond the last motorable road point. Tower parts will be transported to the location by head loading.
* No heavy machinery will be used for construction, no campsites will be placed inside the forest area and drones would be used to enable stringing to further mitigate any likely damages.
GTTPL says it is committed to sustainable infrastructure development and has taken utmost caution and care in the project planning to protect the biodiversity of the region.
“The project will provide the residents and small businesses “in Goa with a highly reliable power feed by opening access to both Western and Southern grids, thereby reducing the dependence of this region on expensive and polluting diesel-based power,” it said.