Supreme Court’s Oversight of Great Indian Bustard Conservation          

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March 27, 2024

Supreme Court’s Oversight of Great Indian Bustard Conservation          


  • The Great Indian Bustard (GIB), a critically endangered avian species, faces significant threats to its survival, primarily due to collisions with overhead power lines. To address this issue, the Supreme Court of India has been actively involved in ensuring the conservation of the GIB while balancing renewable energy efforts in its habitat regions.

The 2021 Judgment:

  • In response to a petition filed by former IAS officer M K Ranjitsinh in June 2019, the Supreme Court acknowledged the severe threat posed to the GIB by overhead power lines in regions such as the Kutch district and Thar desert. The court’s April 2021 decision emphasized the installation of bird diverters on existing overhead power lines and considered the possibility of undergrounding power lines for future projects, particularly in ‘priority’ and ‘potential’ GIB habitat areas.

Challenges and the 2024 Order:

  • Challenges arose as renewable energy companies and the Central government expressed concerns about the practical and financial implications of implementing the court’s directives. These concerns were highlighted during hearings in January and March 2024, prompting discussions on finding a balance between GIB conservation and renewable energy initiatives.

The Formation of a New Committee:

  • In response to the evolving situation, the Supreme Court formed a seven-member committee on March 21, 2024. This committee is tasked with recommending conservation measures for the GIB, identifying areas suitable for power line construction within the ‘priority’ habitat area, and assessing regions crucial for GIB conservation. The court also lifted the blanket restriction on constructing underground power lines, signaling a reevaluation of its previous directives.


  • The Supreme Court’s proactive involvement in overseeing the conservation of the Great Indian Bustard demonstrates a commitment to environmental preservation while considering the complex challenges posed by developmental projects. The formation of the new committee signifies a collaborative effort to find sustainable solutions that protect endangered species like the GIB while supporting renewable energy initiatives in India.

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Supreme Court’s Oversight of Great Indian Bustard Conservation | Vaid ICS Institute