‘No smuggling of endangered species by airlines`

No major airlines has been found to be indulging in smuggling of endangered species in the north-east, the Rajya Sabha was informed Wednesday.

Updated: Aug 11, 2011, 16:16 PM IST

New Delhi: No major airlines has been found
to be indulging in smuggling of endangered species in the north-east, the Rajya Sabha was informed Wednesday.

The information was given by Minister of State in the PMO
V Narayanasamy on behalf of Civil Aviation Minister Vayalar
Ravi during Question Hour.

He said airlines reported some instances of parcels being
couriered with endangered species. Four such cases were
detected during screening of parcels at Imphal, five in
Guwahati, four in Kolkata and one each in Hyderabad and
Agartala.

Items being sent through parcels included tiger skeleton
and deer horns.

The airlines, he said, duly reported the matter to the
concerned authorities, who confiscated the parcels.

To a separate question, Panchayati Raj Minister V Kishore
Chandra Deo said grants under the Backward Regions Grant Fund
programme are released to the state government for utilisation
by panchayats, municipalities and other local bodies for
bridging critical gaps in local infrastructure.

He said delay in release of funds by the states to the
local bodies and procedural delays in preparation and
implementation of plans were primary reasons for under
utilisation of funds.

The government has levied penal interest on delay in
transfer of funds to ensure expeditious utilisation of grants,
he added.

PTI