GUWAHATI, June 7 - A brazen defiance of the April 12, 2019 Supreme Court order on protecting nine identified animal corridors of the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve by the Forest Department, ostensibly with the collusion of some other administrative authorities, has come to light, with permission being granted for the construction of a one-storey building on the Kanchanjuri Animal Corridor.
RTI and environment activist Rohit Choudhury has said he may move the Supreme Court with a contempt petition if these structures are not removed immediately.
The structure is apparently meant for a roadside hotel or restaurant. The construction allegedly began during the COVID-19 lockdown period.
The Kanchanjuri Animal Corridor is a major animal corridor for animals of the KNP. The wild animals use this corridor to move between KNP and the Karbi Anglong highlands.
The Supreme Court of India, in case number (Writ Petitions-Civil 202/1995 and Interlocutory Application No. 42944/2019), had said on April 12, 2019, among others, �No new construction shall be permitted on private lands which form part of the nine identified animal corridors of Kaziranga National Park (KNP), Assam.�
Rohit Choudhury, who was the applicant of the Interlocutory Application No. 42944/2019, has written a letter to the State Chief Secretary with a request �to initiate necessary action against the erring Forest, Revenue or Police officers� for failing to enforce the Supreme Court order.
Choudhury also urged the Chief Secretary to use his good office to immediately stop the construction on this animal corridor and demolish the structures already built on it.
Speaking to this correspondent, Choudhury said the state government, forest and police departments, KNP authorities and Nagaon district authorities turned a blind eye to the developments taking place on the Kanchanjuri Animal Corridor, in utter disregard to the Supreme Court order.
He said that besides violating the apex court order, the authorities have also shown themselves to be insensitive towards their statutory obligation for wildlife preservation. The sad part of this story is that these developments have taken place at a place located right on the National Highway-37, which is always in the public eye.
He said that if the Assam government fails to demolish the structures built on the Kanchanjuri Animal Corridor immediately, he would move the Supreme Court with a contempt petition.