RTI activist flags construction in Kaziranga animal corridor in violation of SC order
The complainant said that the illegal construction was going on in the Kanchanjuri animal corridor of the Kaziranga National Park and tiger reserve in violation of a Supreme Court order issued in April last year.Updated: Jun 30, 2020 22:57 IST
A right to information (RTI) and environment activist from Assam has filed a complaint with the central empowered committee (CEC) against illegal construction in an animal corridor close to Kaziranga National Park (KNP) and tiger reserve in violation of a Supreme Court order.
In his complaint filed on Tuesday with the committee constituted by the apex court to monitor implementation of the court’s order, Rohit Choudhury said that illegal construction was going on in the Kanchanjuri animal corridor of KNP and tiger reserve violating a Supreme Court order issued in April last year.
In its order, the SC had banned all mining related activities along KNP area and catchment area of rivers/streams/rivulets originating in Karbi Anglong hills and flowing into the national park and tiger reserve.
“No new construction shall be permitted on private lands which form part of the nine identified animal corridors,” the SC order had stipulated.
The complaint alleged the “blatant violations” of the SC ruling was going on in connivance with Assam government resulted in contempt of court and orders should be issued to demolish the construction and connectivity of the animal corridor restored.
“A powerful and influential person is involved in undertaking construction of a huge building with approach road within the critical Kanchanjuri animal corridor, one of the nine identified corridors of KNP and tiger reserve,” the complaint, a copy of which is with HT, read.
“These nine corridors are lifeline for the wildlife of Kaziranga, particularly the long ranging species like Indian Elephant, tiger among other forms of wildlife,” it added.
Choudhury alleged that since the ongoing construction can be easily seen from the national highway running close to the national park, the illegal activity is going on in connivance of forest, civil and police administration of the area.
The complainant mentioned that though the matter was brought to the notice of the state’s chief secretary earlier this month, no action was taken to stop the illegal construction.
“If destruction of notified animal corridors continues in this manner then it is a matter of time that all the corridors will be destroyed and blocked and Kaziranga tiger reserve and its wildlife will be completely isolated from Karbi Anglong hills, which are a lifeline to the beleaguered animals during the annual floods,” it said.
Choudhury urged the CEC to intervene and recommend contempt of court proceedings against all violators of the SC ruling including government officers.
Despite repeated attempts neither the state forest minister nor other officials of the departments were available for their comments on the issue.