Bhubaneswar: Taking up a petition regarding 14 proposed elephant corridors in the state, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) has said that it is yet to receive an action plan from the Odisha government despite its earlier order.
The tribunal during its June 23 hearing had asked the state government to submit an action plan within two months. On the recent hearing of the case, the NGT in its written order claimed that despite its order, Odisha government has not submitted the same.
“Vide order dated 23.06.2020, the Tribunal after having noted that detailed works had been undertaken in respect of 14 elephant corridors identified by the state government in 2011, it was directed that an action plan with specific timelines may be filed within two months in accordance with the observations and recommendations made in the report of ANCF. The action plan still has not been filed as directed,” the NGT order reads.
The government in 2017 had told the NGT that works of assessing habitat viability and ground assessment of the already identified elephant corridors were handed over to the Asia Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF) under an agreement. The ANCF submitted the report January 12, 2018.
Meanwhile, the petitioner in the case –Wildlife Society of Orissa – has also levelled fresh allegation of violations of the 2016 order of NGT on the matter.
The NGT, in its 2016 order, had barred some activities in eco-sensitive zones. The petitioner in the hearing submitted photographs of Telkoi-Pallahara Elephant Corridor, which bisects the Mumbai-Kolkata highway in Keonjhar district, and alleged that many trees were felled for highway expansion work in the eco-sensitive zone.
Taking cognisance of the issue, the NGT has issued show-cause notice to the state government. “In the light of the above statements, the State Respondents…shall respond to the affidavit and show cause as to why appropriate orders should not be issued for such violation on or before the next date.”