HC orders stop on use of chili & crackers against jumbos
Replies sought from CWW, Corbett director & State Govt in three weeks
Hearing on a public interest litigation against encroachments in traditional elephant corridors, the high court has banned further encroachments and directed the forest department to stop the use of chili powder and crackers to affect elephant movements. Hearing the PIL on Tuesday, the division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice Alok Kumar Verma has sought replies from the chief wildlife warden, Corbett national park director, Ramnagar divisional forest officer and the State Government in three weeks. In addition to banning any encroachment on elephant corridors, the high court has also prohibited the placement of chili powder sacks, firing rounds in the air and bursting crackers to shoo elephants while expressing displeasure stating that use of such methods is against the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.
It is pertinent to mention here that Delhi-based IMIS had filed the PIL stating that encroachments have been made and commercial buildings constructed in 11 elephant corridors in Uttarakhand. Three of these corridors adjoining the Ramnagar- Mohaan border include 27 kilometres of highway. The elephant corridor in Dhikuli area has more than 150 commercial constructions due to which it is completely blocked. Construction in the Mohaan area and vehicular traffic during the night time is hampering the elephants from reaching the Kosi river. Marriages, parties and the noise generated at commercial buildings at night is also causing disturbance to the wild animals. Instead of preventing human interference in the forest areas, the forest department is using chili powder and crackers to prevent the pachyderm from coming on the highway. This is affecting a change in the behaviour of the elephants and making them violent. In the past one year there have been more than 20 incidents of elephants attacking people. The petitioner has further stated that the elephants need to travel to the Kosi river to meet their daily water requirement but the forest department is blocking the routes taken by the elephants.
Wednesday, 16 October 2019 | PNS | Nainital
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