Breaking News Uttrakhand HC issues notice to Centre, state government on...

Uttrakhand HC issues notice to Centre, state government on media reports of illegal construction in Corbett National Park,

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Dehradun, Nov 1 (ILNS) The Uttarakhand High Court on October 27, took Suo Moto cognizance and issued notice to the Central and the state government in the matter of illegal construction activities being carried out in the Corbett National Tiger Reserve Park.

The Court said that a news item appeared in the daily newspaper, on October 23, 201 regarding the illegal construction activities being undertaken by unknown persons, which are clearly in violation of the Forest Laws. The said illegal construction activities are being undertaken in the Corbett Tiger Reserve, one of the premier Tiger Reserves of the country.

According to the said article, a Committee of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had recently visited the Corbett Tiger Reserve. The Committee discovered not only illegal construction of bridges and buildings but even the felling of trees. The Committee further noted that there has been a violation of the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, as well as the Indian Forest Act, 1927.

The Division Bench of Chief Justice Raghvendra Singh Chauhan and Justice Narayan Singh Dhanik observed that surprisingly, a single lane road is being constructed in the core/critical habitat of the Corbett Tiger Reserve. Despite the fact that the Committee has recommended that all illegal constructions in Morghatti and Pakhrau FRH campuses be demolished, and eco-restoration work be undertaken with immediate effect, no concrete steps have been taken by the respondents.

Moreover, despite the fact that the Committee recommended that the Ministry of Environment should initiate action against the responsible officers, as per the provisions contained in the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, not even initial steps have been taken even by the Ministry. Therefore, the Court issued notices to the respondents.

Meanwhile, the Court directed the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (General), Uttarakhand, the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (Wildlife), Uttarakhand, and the Director of the Corbett National Park, Uttarakhand, to inspect the site, and to submit a report with regard to the nature and extent of the illegal constructions being carried out, with regard to the persons, who are responsible for carrying out the said illegal constructions, and with regard to the concrete steps taken by the respondents against such persons, and against the illegal constructions.

The Court listed the PIL for further hearing on November 10, 2021./ILNS/SS/SNG/

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