Monday, 21 Sep, 9.43 am Orissa POST

Road expansion in elephant corridor; NGT seeks report

Keonjhar: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has sought a report from the state government about construction activities and deforestation in the Telkoi-Pallahada elephant corridor in Keonjhar district.

There was an interim order of a court in 2016 that no disruptive or damaging activities would be carried out in all the 14 elephant corridors in the state. That means, the order has clearly banned deforestation, building of roads and railways through the elephant corridors.

Despite this order, hills are being damaged to make space for the NH-49 expansion in the Telkoi-Pallahada elephant corridor.

Expressing concern over such damaging activities in the elephant corridor, the Odisha Wildlife Society has filed a petition with the NGT against the government.

In the petition, Shankar Prasad Pani, the counsel of the Odisha Wildlife Society, said that despite the court order, construction activities have been taken up for road expansion inside the elephant corridor, but the Keonjhar DFO did not apprise the government about the expansion work.

The Odisha Wildlife Society observed that as a construction company has been carrying out the NH-49 expansion at huge costs, there should be action against the forest department.

It may be noted here that the government had identified 23 elephant corridors in the state in 2011. Of them, 14 were given corridor status while nine others are awaiting nod.

Telkoi-Pallahada and Karo-Karampada corridors are included in the 24. However, these two corridors are allegedly getting damaged for lack of proper measures and monitoring by the forest department.

The Odisha Wildlife Society said that the petition has been filed with the NGT for protection of elephant corridors, while wildlife activists and environmentalists have been advocating for safety of elephants and protection of their habitats and corridors in the state.

The NGT has sought a report from the state government about the condition of these elephant corridors in two months, but the state government has not submitted its report. The tribunal has expressed its displeasure over this.


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Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by Dailyhunt. Publisher: Orissa Post