THE SUPREME Court on Tuesday cleared a pilot project to introduce the African cheetah from Namibia into India and appointed a three-member committee to oversee it.
A bench of Chief Justice of India S A Bobde and Justices B R Gavai and Suryakant allowed the plea by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and said the animal will be introduced at a site identified after due survey.
The NTCA had approached the court seeking permission saying the Indian cheetah is almost extinct in the country.
The committee will comprise of former Director of Wildlife Ranjitsinh, Director of Wildlife Institute of India Dhananjai Mohan and DIG, Wildlife, Ministry of Environment and Forests. It will work with the NTCA in carrying out the project.
The court asked the committee to monitor the project and also submit a report to it every four months. If it is found that there are problems with the site where the African cheetah is first introduced, it may be shifted to a more habitable site, the court said.
In 2013, the SC had rejected the government’s plans to introduce the animal to the Kunho National Park in Madhya Pradesh.
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