HC stays ELF Radar Project at Damagundum

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Telangana high court has issued a stay order in connection with the Indian Navy’s Extremely Low Frequency (ELF) Radar project proposed to be set up in Damagundum reserve forest in Vikarabad district of Telangana.

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The notices to this effect have been issued to both the Centre and the State. The court also asked the Eastern Naval Command of the Indian Navy to file its counter on the issue. “Centre and the Indian Navy cannot cut a single tree till they filed their counters on what they are proposing to do with the fragile ecosystem at Damagundam forest,” says the high court order.

It may be recalled that the state has already acquired over 3000 acres of forest land in Damagundum area to enable the Eastern Naval Command to set up its ‘ELF Radar’ project. This evoked a huge public outcry forcing environmental lovers, activists and scientists such as Dr Purushottam Reddy, Muralidhar Deshpande, Nirup Reddy, Pasham Yadagiri, Sucharita Reddy and others to approach the court for justice.

Hearing the petition, Chief Justice Raghavendra Chauhan said: “We understand the defence of the country is crucial and is an important aspect, but the environment is also our concern. Everyone knows that low frequency affects the wildlife, the flora and fauna and the forest ecology adversely. It is surprising that the forest department agreed to the idea of ELF Radar in the area without Navy obtaining environment clearance.”

The bench posted the matter to April 15 and directed the state and Central governments, Eastern naval command to file counter-affidavits on the issue.

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