NEW DELHI, May 17 - In a landmark verdict, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) today ruled that any vehicle found over-speeding inside the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) will have to pay an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 besides challan under the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.
The order of a bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar followed a mention by the park director, who was present before the bench, that four animals have died since January this year, despite installation of sensor-operated automatic traffic barriers to prevent these deaths.
“Every vehicle challaned for over-speeding will have to pay an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 per accident over and above the challan as prescribed under the MV Act,” the bench said.
Earlier, the bench had asked the Assam Government and the KNP director to inform about the number of animals, which have died due to vehicular movement along the highway.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environmentalist Rohit Choudhury opposing the expansion of the NH-37 from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat through the Kaziranga National Park.
The NGT had earlier ordered the demolition of roadside shops and eateries along the animal corridors near Kaziranga, among a slew of directions in the wake of increasing wildlife casualties due to vehicular movement on the highway.
The Gauhati High Court had, however, stayed the order on demolishing shops and dhabas located within 100 metres of the NH-37.