Bhubaneswar:17/9/17: The Eastern Zone Bench of National Green Tribunal (NGT) expressed disappointment over Odisha government’s inaction in not notifying 14 elephant habitation corridors in the state.
Acting on the petition by Wildlife Society Of Odisha, NGT in a earlier ruling had asked the state government to demarcate the elephant corridors and issue notification in this regard.
The Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO) had earlier moved the NGT, Kolkata, seeking issuance of notification for declaration of elephant corridors in a time-bound manner and halt of activities that destroy elephant’ habitat.
“The tribunal was deeply disappointed over government’s delayed tactics and directed it to issue elephant corridor notification expeditiously,” said Shankar Pani, counsel for the WSO.
“The Odisha government had identified 14 elephant corridors which needed to be protected under law by notifying them under Section 3 of the Environment (Protection) Act,1986. The corridors have been mapped and described by the Chief Wildlife Warden and the proposals are lying with the State government since four years,” said the petition moved by the WSO.
The state forest department had earlier categorically stated that the work of assessing habitat viability and ground-truthing of the already identified elephant corridors had been handed over to the Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) under an MOU.
While expressing our extreme disappointment on the lethargic pace of the work, we direct the State respondents to ensure that the report is filed by the ANCF within the period as stated before us and thereafter provide a specific time frame for completion of the entire exercise before publication of the notification in respect of the elephant corridors.