NGT asks army to shift ammunition dump
The order came on a petition by a Delhi-based NGO, Centre for Wildlife & Environmental Litigation (CWEL), stating the dump was a risk to the ecology, biodiversity and wildlife of the Chilla-Motichur corridor of the reserve.Updated: Jul 14, 2019 00:49 IST
The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the army to shift the Raiwala ammunition dump in the Chilla-Motichur corridor of Uttarakhand’s Rajaji Tiger Reserve to a new site and “ensure restoration of the elephant corridor”.
The order came on a petition by a Delhi-based NGO, Centre for Wildlife & Environmental Litigation (CWEL), stating the dump was a risk to the ecology, biodiversity and wildlife of the Chilla-Motichur corridor of the reserve. The dump blocks the movement of wild animals between the eastern and western parts of the reserve.
In a July 11 order, the tribunal said that according to a report by the Uttarakhand government, a “suitable site” for such shifting was being explored. “Let the concerned Army authorities finalise the pending issue expeditiously so as to ensure restoration of the elephant corridor ... after shifting of the ammunition dump to a suitable location, after compliance of the provisions of Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980,” the order said.
The judgment came three days after the Uttarakhand chief secretary submitted the report, saying it was waiting for a response from the army for site selection. According to the report dated April 25, a joint inspection of three sites was conducted by army and forest department staff between April 20 and 22 this year and “the inspection report was sent by the army officials to the headquarters for expert/technical opinion”.
Bhanu Bansal, secretary of CWEL, said, “...Not only will the shifting of the dump reduce traffic, it will also make movement of wild life inside the corridor smooth...”
First Published: Jul 14, 2019 00:49 IST