GUWAHATI, Jan 20 - The Principal Bench of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has maintained that all shops and dhabas run within 100 metres from the end of the National Highway or those located in the forest or protected areas, or the bridges constructed within 500 metres of the Kaziranga National Park �would be liable to be demolished�.
The NGT observation came in connection with a Miscellaneous Application (MA) numbers 898/2015, 899/2015, 900/2015, 901/2015, 902/2015, 903/2015, 904/2015, 905/2015 and 906/2015 in RA Number 25 of 2015 and Original Application Number 174 of 2013 Rohit Choudhury versus Union of India and Others.
The NGT said in its observation yesterday: �We make it clear that all shops and dhabas run within 100 metres from the end of the National Highway or are located in the forest/protected areas, or the bridges constructed or within 500 metres of the Kaziranga National Park, would be liable to be demolished. We issue showcause notice to all the noticees to file their respective replies in that regard��
Meanwhile, the Director, Kaziranga National Park said in his affidavit before the NGT that the animal corridors of Kaziranga all along the National Highway (NH-37) have highly fragmented over the past one hundred years, as can be easily made out from the older topographic sheets. It may be presumed that there were three large corridors on the NH-37, known as Amguri-Burapahaar-Kanchanjuri, Harmoti-Bagori-Paldibari and Panbari. However, in course of time it got fragmented severally.
A survey in August 2015 revealed that there were about 11 fragmented corridors from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat on the NH-37. In order to study animal migration and activities on corridors, camera traps were set up at various locations within 2 km of the NH-37 from June to December, 2015.
The brief findings of the camera trap exercise revealed that within the six-month period, the number of instances of animal captured in the cameras were: elephant � 1,442, rhino � 221, tiger � 62, wild buffalo � 146, hog deer � 1,436, leopard � 22. This shows that the corridors are very active and need long-term protective measures, such as animal-friendly highways and restoration of the structural portion of the corridors by way of removal of constructions, restoration of vegetation and enhancing protection along the corridors as well as the Karbi Anglong hill side.