|Complaint filed in SC against construction on KNP animal corridor|
GUWAHATI, June 30 - RTI-cum-environment activist Rohit Choudhury has lodged a complaint with the Member Secretary of the Central Empowered Committee (CEC), Supreme Court of India, alleging construction of a ‘huge building’ on the Kanchanjuri Animal Corridor of Kaziranga National Park & Tiger Reserve (KNP & TR) in blatant violation of the apex court order on keeping the National Park’s animal corridors free from any new constructions.
An ‘illegal’ building along the Kanchanjuri animal corridor area of Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve.
Choudhury has pleaded for initiation of contempt proceedings against all the contemnors, including the Government officials and the ‘powerful person’ involved in this ‘illegal’ act and steps to demolish this structure.
The apex court had on April 12, 2019 ordered, “No new construction shall be permitted on private lands which form part of the nine identified animal corridors’ of Kaziranga National Park (KNP), Assam.”
But, Choudhury said, citing media reports and ‘reliable information,’ that now 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 & TR. These nine corridors are the life-line for the wildlife of Kaziranga, particularly the long-ranging species like Indian Elephant, Tiger among other forms of wildlife, said Choudhury.
He alleged that considering the fact that construction of this structure is very much visible from the busy National Highway No-37, there can be no doubt that this violation is taking place in connivance of the officials of the civil administration of Nagaon district, particularly those of Kaliabor Civil and Revenue authority, KNP & TR, Eastern Assam Wildlife Division, Nagaon (Territorial) Division and Police Department.
This act of violation of the apex court’s order has already been brought to the notice of the Chief Secretary of Assam. However, no action has been taken by the State administration to stop this illegal construction till date, Choudhury alleged.
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 the KNP & TR and its wildlife will be completely isolated from Karbi Anglong Hills which are a lifeline to the beleaguered animals during the annual floods.
Considering the fact that the order of the highest Court of our country is being brazenly violated by powerful and influential persons, Choudhury said, he has to urge the CEC to intervene and strongly recommend initiation of contempt proceedings against the contemnors which includes all the officers concerned for deliberately violating the apex court order on the issue. He also pleaded for steps to demolish the ‘illegal’ structure to restore the animal corridor ‘forthwith.’