Railways

NGT clears decks for Hubli-Ankola railway line

DELHI

hubli-ankola-mapDecks have been cleared for the controversial Hubli-Ankola railway line, cutting across the eco-sensitive Western Ghats in Karnataka, with the National Green Tribunal giving its nod to Railways to approach the state government.

The order assumes significance as Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) last year had disapproved the 168-km rail link project, conceived in 1998 primarily to transport iron ore from the Bellary-Hospet mines, and said that it would have “huge and irreparable” ecological impact on the forests, wildlife and biodiversity of the Western Ghats, reports PTI.

The controversy in the present case relates to conversion of forest land to a non-forest activity (construction of broad gauge railway line) for which total land of 965 hectares falling in Dharwad, Yellapur and Karwar forest divisions in Karnataka was required.

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