New Delhi: A Central Empowered Committee (CEC), constituted by the Supreme Court, has written to the Assam government to take action against illegal constructions along the animal corridors in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
The CEC, in a letter to the Assam chief secretary, said an action taken report should be submitted to the panel within four weeks.
“I am forwarding herewith a copy of letter dated September 10, 2021, received from Dr. Hemen Hazarika, Scientist ‘D’ Head of office, IRO, Guwahati O/o the Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Regional Office, Guwahati, Government of India on the above subject.”
“It is requested that immediate action is taken to remove all constructions made in violation of the Supreme Court order dated April 12, 2019, and not to permit any new constructions along the nine identified animal corridors. An action taken report may please be sent to the CEC within the next four weeks,” the letter by CEC Member-Secretary Amarnatha Shetty dated October 6 said.
Hazarika’s letter was based on a report filed by Laetitia J. Syiemiong, Deputy Inspector-General of Forest (Central) after inspecting the wildlife corridor.
“Inspection was done and at field level after traversing the entire 8 (eight) stretch of animal corridors, where it was found that there has been illegal construction all along. Hence, there has been ‘contempt of hon’ble Supreme Court order dated l2.04.2019 on I. A. No. 42944/20)9 on WP(C) 202/1995’ which had other than banning all types of mining, had also ‘not permitted any new construction including on private lands which form part of the 9 identified animal corridors’,” the report filed by DIGF said.
The report was submitted in response to a complaint by environment activist Rohit Choudhury who sought action against illegal constructions in the animal corridors in contempt of the top court order.
The apex court in its 2019 order had ordered that “no new construction shall be permitted on private lands which form part of the nine identified animal corridors”.
The top court had also banned all mining activities along the Kaziranga National Park and catchment area of rivers originating in Karbi Anglong Hills in Assam.
“We order that all kinds of mining and related activities along the aforesaid Kaziranga National Park area and in the entire catchment area of rivers/streams and rivulets originating in Karbi Anglong Hill ranges and flowing into the Kaziranga National Park, including Tiger Reserve are restrained,” the top court had said.
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