The National Green Tribunal has directed the Assam government to expeditiously prepare a detailed project report (DPR) on measures to curb growing wildlife casualties due to vehicular movement on the National Highway-37 passing through the Kaziranga National Park.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar also summoned top officials of state government and Kaziranga National Park to inform it about compliance of its earlier orders on the issue.
“The concerned Secretary of Government of Assam, Director of Kajiranga National Park, officers from Ministry of Road Transport and Highway, National Highway Authority of India, Secretary, Public Works Department and Ministry of Road Transport shall be present before the Tribunal and submit compliance report with regard to the directions of the Tribunal passed earlier.
“Tribunal shall also be informed as to what is the status of DPR. Whether any DPR in relation to construction of fly over is there or not,” the bench said while posting the matter for next hearing on August 24.
The NGT had earlier directed Ministry of Environment and Forests to take clear instructions as to whether or not it proposed to issue any draft notification in relation to Kaziranga Eco Sensitive Zone.
The Assam government had earlier told the bench that DPR is to be prepared in consultation with the Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun and the Director of Kaziranga park, which is home to the famous one-horned rhinos.
The tribunal’s direction came during a hearing on a plea filed by environmentalist Rohit Choudhury opposing expansion of NH-37 which passes from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat through the Kaziranga Park.
It had earlier ordered 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 adjacent highway.
Gauhati High Court, however, had stayed the order on demolishing shops and dhabas located within 100 metres of National Highway 37.
The green panel had also asked the Assam government to ensure fixation of sensor-operated automatic barriers at the animal corridors and ascertain whether speed-check cameras were in working condition or not.