New Delhi: The National Green Tribunal today issued show cause notice to the Centre and the Uttarakhand government on a plea seeking a stay on the construction of a road linking Kotdwar to Ramnagar and passing through the Corbett Tiger Reserve.
NGT Notice To Centre, U'khand On Plea For Stay On Road Linking Kotdwar To Ramnagar
A bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim sought responses from the Ministry of Environment and Forests, the Uttarakhand government, the National Tiger Conservation Authority, the National Board for Wildlife, the National Buildings Construction Company (NBCC) and others in two weeks. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by advocate Gaurav Kumar Bansal seeking stay on the construction of the road linking Kotdwar to Ramnagar as it would damage the "biodiversity, ecosystem and wildlife of the tiger reserve".
Bansal contended that the state government was going ahead with the project despite a Supreme Court order which prohibits construction of any road passing through the Corbett tiger reserve and ban on tree felling in the eco-sensitive area.
"The Union of India, along with 12 other Tiger Range Countries is a signatory to the St. Petersburg Declaration of 2010. The declaration clearly prohibits any intrusive activity within the core tiger breeding areas," the plea said. A memorandum of understanding was recently signed between the Uttarakhand Eco Tourism Development Corporation and NBCC to undertake construction of the road which will pass through the Corbett Tiger Reserve and shorten the travel distance from Garhwal to Kumaon by two hours. The Wildlife Institute of India and the NBCC will prepare a detailed project report of the 90 km road from Kotdwar to Ramnagar. PTI