Interim stay on construction of Uttarakhand's Tiger Safari
New Delhi, Oct 26: The National Green Tribunal has imposed an interim stay on Pakhrau Tiger Safari construction in Uttarakhand after taking note of a news report that 600 trees have been illegally cut in Corbett Tiger Reserve of the Kalagarh Tiger Reserve Division.
A bench headed by NGT chairperson Justice A K Goel constituted a three-member committee and directed it to submit a report on this. Accountability needs to be fixed for such violations and damage to the environment restored following due process of law, the green panel said.
"Accordingly, we constitute a three-member committee comprising DG, Forest Department, DG Wildlife Department and DG, Project Tiger to identify the violators and the steps required for restoration of the environment.
"Its report with specific recommendations may be furnished to the Secretary, MoEF (Ministry of Environment and Forest) within one month and steps for further course of action in the matter be finalised within the next one month. Till then the project may not be allowed to proceed," the bench said.
The tribunal's order came after it took cognisance of a news report that 600 trees have been illegally cut in Corbett Tiger Reserve in Kalagarh Tiger Reserve Division in Uttrakhand. It also noted that the Forest Survey of India (FSI) was asked to assess the status of illegally felled trees.
However, the FSI had in its report said that more than 6,000 trees were felled illegally to start a tiger safari in the Kalagarh forest division of Corbett Tiger Reserve. The Uttarakhand forest department had taken the clearance of the Union Ministry of Forest, Environment and Climate Change for the tiger safari project, saying only 163 trees will be chopped off in the process.
But the FSI in its report said 6,093 trees were felled over 16.21 hectares of land in place of 163 for the tiger safari project at Pakhrau in the Kalagarh forest division.