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Wind projects can affect environment: CSE

Pune: Noting that forest lands are being acquired by the wind power industry on a large scale, an environment report has warned that the development can have an adverse impact on the local ecology.
    
Construction of roads in forest areas can cause ‘liner fragmentation’ resulting in soil erosion and also hindering migration of animals, the report prepared by Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), noted.
    
Underlining the necessity of a mandatory environmental impact assessment (EAI), the study stated that the demand for forest land for wind power projects increased considerably during the last seven years with Maharashtra accounting for 31 percent of the allotted land.
    
According to the study, wind projects set up on forest land and hilly areas can have a greater impact on water resources and ecology as compared to those in plains.
    
Those projects situated near human settlement can have disturbing effect on the population with the noise and shadow flicker from the commercial wind turbines with a height of 100-150 meters.
    
Among animals, bats can be affected because of the changing air pressure around wind turbines, the report states.
    
Documenting environmental impact of wind projects in various parts of the country, it has also recommended sharing of benefits with the local population including the first right to the power generated by wind energy projects.

(Agencies)

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