HC deadline ends, encroachments around Corbett not removed

The state government on Thursday constituted a joint team of forest and revenue officials to verify at ground-level encroachments around Corbett Tiger Reserve before taking any action.

dehradun Updated: Jun 21, 2018 22:52 IST
Hindustan Times, Nainital
Corbett,Corbett Tiger Reserve,Encroachment
District magistrate Nainital Vinod Kumar Suman said after the survey by the joint team, removal of encroachments around Corbett will be started according to the court directions.(AP File)

The state government on Thursday constituted a joint team of forest and revenue officials to verify at ground-level encroachments around Corbett Tiger Reserve before taking any action.

The move comes a day after the Uttarakhand high court directed the government to forcibly remove encroachments by hotel and resort owners on revenue and forest land around Corbett Tiger Reserve within 24 hours.

Neha Verma, divisional forest officer Ramnagar, said they were yet to receive a copy of the court order, but they have started the process for implementing the directions.

“Before removing the encroachments, a team of forest and revenue officials are verifying the encroachments on the ground level,” she said.

Verma said five cases related to encroachment by hotel and resort owners were also going on in the court.

“The hearing in these fives cases is scheduled on June 26. Over a dozen cases related to encroachments around Corbett are also on trial in the court of the SDM Ramnagar,” she said.

District magistrate Nainital Vinod Kumar Suman said after the survey by the joint team, removal of encroachments around Corbett will be started according to the court directions.

On Wednesday, the HC also directed the government to file FIRs against all encroachers.

The directions were given by a division bench of justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh while hearing a public interest litigation filed by Mayank Mainali, chairperson of Ramnagar-based NGO, Himalayan Yuva Gramin Vika Sanstha in 2012.

The petitioner highlighted the environmental concerns around Corbett Tiger Reserve in the wake of the construction of hotels, resorts and other properties around it.

On June 14, the HC constituted a four-member empowered committee to check encroachments of land around Corbett Tiger Reserve. The committee submitted its report to the court, listing 43 encroachments around the Corbett.

On June 1, chief secretary Utpal Kumar Singh in his affidavit submitted before the HC that 44 resort owners around Corbett tiger Reserve had encroached revenue and forest land in Nainital and Almora districts.

Of the 44 resorts, 30 have encroached upon the revenue land while 14 have encroached the forest land, including the catchment of the Kosi river, said the petitioner.

First Published: Jun 21, 2018 22:52 IST