Green Tribunal asks refinery to demolish wall blocking elephant corridor near Kaziranga, slaps fine of Rs. 25 lakh for destroying forest (India)


Hazel Sunaina, India Live Today

Date Published


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New Delhi, August 24: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Wednesday ordered the demolition of a wall blocking an elephant corridor near the Kaziranga National Park.

The tribunal has asked the Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NFL), a public sector company, to demolish a 2.2 kilometre long wall blocking the elephant corridor within one month.

The NGT proposed that the township of refinery ‘cannot be allowed’ as it comes in a “No Development Zone”.

The green tribunal has also imposed a fine of Rs. 25 lakh for destroying forest and levelling a hill for the refinery.

With this order, the NGT has cleared the way for elephants to have a natural migration route in Assam.

The NGT has asked Assam to declare the area as a reserve forest without delay.

A calf had died in May this year due to the wall, which was built in 2011 on a hill close to the Deopahar reserve forest in Golaghat and the Kaziranga National Park.

Four years after the wall was built, the state forest department raised a red flag and said the allocation of land was done in violation of the Forest Conservation Act that empowers only the Centre to allow the diversion of forest land for non-forestry purposes.