P.V. Jayakrishnan, the chairman of the central empowered committee (CEC) constituted by the Supreme Court, would be at Valmiki Tiger Reserve (VTR) from May 1 to 3 to assess the ground realities of the construction of a state highway allegedly violating the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.
Mahendra Vyas, a member of the panel constituted by the apex court to look into the cases of Forest (Conservation) Act and Wildlife (Protection) Act violations, would accompany Jayakrishnan to the VTR. CEC member secretary M.K. Jiwrajka informed the chief secretary of Bihar about the proposed visit of the team through a letter (dated April 25, 2012).
Wildlife Trust of India’s (WTI’s) vice-chairman Ashok Kumar filed a case with the CEC in March last year, claiming that a road passing through the VTR was widened blatantly violating the Forest (Conservation) Act. The Telegraph had reported the development in its February 8, 2011 edition. The WTI counsel, Ritwick Dutta, told The Telegraph over phone from New Delhi: “After the field visit, the CEC is likely to deliver its judgment on the case.”
The road under the scanner is the 28.8-km-long Bagaha-Triveni state highway (SH 64), a part of which passes through the tiger reserve.