GUWAHATI, May 16 - Conservation body Heritage Conservation Society of Assam (HeCSA) has hailed the Supreme Court�s latest order on banning all the stone mining-related activities in the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape. It has urged the State government and the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) authorities to implement the apex court�s order in letter and spirit.
HeCSA secretary Jayanta Sarma told this newspaper that the apex court�s intervention in the matter is going to help those who are engaged in conserving environment as well as heritage in protecting the unique environment and heritage of the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong landscape. Kaziranga National Park (KNP), also a world famous heritage site, is known for its fauna and flora and it is inalienably linked with the natural environment of Karbi Anglong for sustenance.
But stone mining and other commercial activities along the national park and in Karbi Anglong hills have been posing a serious threat to this globally important national park known for its one-horned rhinoceros population. Of late, Kaziranga has also been recognised as a tiger reserve. It is also recognised by the UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
This national park, which is an inseparable part of the natural heritage of the State�s people, has made Assam proud and the apex court�s order banning stone mining-related activities along this park in the Karbi Anglong hills, is a welcome development, Sarma said.
However, the decision taken at a recent meeting of the senior forest officials of the State on the order of the Supreme Court sounds puzzling. The meeting, as per newspaper reports, suggested shifting of stone mining activities and the stone crushers located in Dolomara areas to Parkup Pahar or Kaliabor areas and the stone crushers located in the Eastern Assam Wildlife Division to Dergaon area.
This suggestion of the forest officials seems to be contravening the apex court�s order on the issue. If the decision taken at the forest officers� meeting is implemented, it will again affect the natural environment of the areas situated in Kaliabor, at a distance of around ten kilometres from the KNP. The Supreme Court has not issued any direction to the authorities that they should shift stone mining and stone crushing activities to other areas. Its direction is crystal clear � stone mining and stone crushing activities in the vicinity of the KNP should be stopped once for all, Sarma said.