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NGT Concern For Eco Zone


Taking note of the serious threat to Similipal-Hadagarh-Kuldiha-Similipal Elephant Corridor due to massive mining operation in the area,  the  National Green Tribunal has expressed deep concern regarding such hazardous activities and directed Odisha Government to take necessary steps for conservation of such Eco Sensitive Zone (ESZ).


Two social organizations namely ‘ROSE’ and ‘ASSA’ knocked the door of justice to save such elephant corridor and sanctuary from human exploitation. They have assailed grant of lease for stone mining in some villages of Khaira Tahasil in Balasore district which are coming within this ESZ.

The area where such mining lease was granted comes within the Eco Sensitive Zone in Kuldiha Wild Life Sanctuary and Traditional Similipal-Hadagarh-Kuldiha Inter District Wild Life Corridor. As per law, mining activities are strictly prohibited in such area.

Because of large scale mining activities ecology of the locality as well as elephant corridor and sanctuary are under threat. As per directive of the Green Tribunal, PCCF (HOFF) submitted a fact finding report with certain recommendations.

He has specifically stated that there is an evident threat to the habitat and the elephant corridor due to quarrying because of its onsite and offsite environmental effects. PCCF has specifically mentioned that 97 quarries are in operation without any environment management plan.

PCCF in his report has recommended for massive plantation, conservation of sanctuary and elephant corridor area. He has specifically submitted to stop mining activities in larger interest of environment.

Without obtaining specific clearance from appropriate authorities quarry operation shall not be allowed in such sensitive zone and has suggested for constitution of monitoring committee for the purpose.

However, without filing any reply on the issue, adjournment was only sought on behalf of state respondents. 

While allowing state respondents to file a detail report in one month, a division bench of National Green Tribunal comprising Justice SP Wangdi and Dr. SS Garbyal observed that the entire corridor should be brought within the ambit of the ESZ and the State Government shall take immediate steps after due consultation with the experts for its protection.

As an interim measure the green body directed that there shall be no operation of any quarries ingressing into the ESZ or are in operation adjacent thereto. Tribunal further observed that action for closer of the quarries shall be taken following due process of law.

The Green Body has also asked State Government to initiate process for implementation of the suggestion of PCCF who has asked for conservation of the sanctuary and Elephant Corridor and also for massive plantation. 
 


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