Hearing on a public interest litigation against blocked elephant corridors in Uttarakhand, the high court has sought replies from the Corbett national park director, chief wildlife warden and the Ramnagar divisional forest officer by October 15. Expressing dissatisfaction, the court has also asked who allowed the use of cruel methods like using chili powder, firing in the air and bursting fire crackers to prevent the jumbos from coming on the highway. The matter was heard by the division bench of chief justice Ramesh Ranganathan and justice Alok Kumar Verma.
A Delhi based organisation IMIS had filed the PIL, stating that 11 elephant corridors in Uttarakhand had been blocked by encroachment and commercial constructions. 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.
Friday, 11 October 2019 | PNS | Nainital
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