The Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has ordered the Assam govt to demolish illegal structures in the Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve’s identified wildlife corridors.
CEC Member-Secretary Amarnatha Shetty requested an action taken report from the government within four weeks in a letter to Assam Chief Secretary Jishnu Baruah on October 6.
On September 10, the CEC received a report from Hemen Hazarika, a scientist and the head of the Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change’s Integrated Regional Office in Guwahati.
On April 12, 2019, there was a gross violation of the court’s order, according to the report.
In August, the environment ministry sent Deputy Inspector-General of Forest (Central) Laetita J Syiemiong to inspect the corridors after receiving a complaint from Assam activist Rohit Choudhury.
A temple, shops, hotels, restaurants, tea estates, and even one Assam govt building were built on the eight corridors, according to Syiemiong’s report. A wedding hall, a resort, and a house owned by a local minister are among the other structures. The Haldibari and Kanchanjuris corridors were home to the majority of the structures.
“Apart from illegal construction, the presence of trucks, etc., is the biggest eyesore and a threat to the animals of Kaziranga National Park.
“In the recent past, trucks, tankers, and other vehicles have been observed stopping to park on roadside… and obstructing wild animal movement from Kaziranga National Park to the Karbi Anglong hillside,” according to the report.
“As a result, the number of hotels/dhabas is increasing day by day, and… it appears that the said dhabas, in particular, are illegally chopping firewood from the trees of the Karbi-Anglong hillside,” it added.