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NGT directs govt to file report on notifying elephant corridors | Cuttack News

CUTTACK: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the state government to file a status report on notifying elephant corridors in Odisha in terms of the action plan drawn up by the latter, which was based on a report by Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF).
The NGT’s east zone bench in Kolkata issued the direction on an execution application filed by the Wildlife Society of Orissa (WSO) regarding an order passed by the tribunal on August 17 last year on a petition filed by the latter. The petition sought the state’s intervention in taking immediate steps to notify the 14 elephant corridors of Odisha.
The August 17 NGT order stated, “In our view, since the action plan has been submitted and 14 elephant corridors identified, we dispose of the application with a direction to the state government to notify the elephant corridors upon terms identified by ANCF and the action plan submitted by it within a period of two months.”
The execution application was taken up on December 16. WSO’s counsel Sankar Prasad Pani alleged non-compliance of the NGT order. “Till date elephant corridors had not been identified in compliance with the directions of the tribunal,” Pani said.
“In our opinion, the matter requires consideration. Issued notice to the government of Odisha, returnable within four weeks,” the bench of B Amit Sthalekar (judicial member) and Afroz Ahmad (expert member) said in its order released on Wednesday. The bench posted the matter to January 30 for further consideration.
The state government’s action plan focused on the need to secure elephant habitat, providing connectivity to the habitat and securing the movement patterns of smaller and scattered populations.
The ANCF report had graded the 14 elephant corridors in the state according to their functional existence and ecological feasibility, along with proposals and suggestions for strengthening the corridors.
While indicating the presence of elephants in places where the pachyderms had never been in the recent past, the ANCF report said there was urgent need to protect and augment the traditional movement paths to neutralize the increasing trend of elephant-human conflicts, wherever feasible.
The state forest department had proposed to issue a notification for the 14 elephant corridors stretching over a total area of 870.61sqkm, with a length of 420.8km in 2012.

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