Golaghat, Oct. 15: The Golaghat district unit of the All Assam Students’ Union has asked Dispur to put its case firmly before the National Green Tribunal, which last week put a restraining order on the Assam government from widening National Highway 37 that passes through Kaziranga National Park.
The students’ union has expressed concern at the failure of the state government to defend its stand before the tribunal.
“The chief minister, forest minister as well as the PWD minister’s utter callousness in this matter is going to create problems for one and all and if the state government does not take the matter seriously, the union along with the people is going to launch a mass agitation,” the union stated today.
Monowar Hussain, central executive member of AASU, today claimed that only two tigers have been killed by speeding vehicles in the past 10 years. Not a single rhino or elephant has lost its life in hit-and-run.
“But in the current year alone, 34 rhinos have been killed by poachers,” Hussain said.
The tribunal in its order last week said the highway passing through Jakhalabandha, Kaziranga National Park and Bokakhat was not only violation of the conditions imposed by the ministry of environment and forests while granting permission for Numaligarh Refinery, but was certainly violation of environment rules, particularly wildlife.
Dadul Bora, president of the AASU Golaghat unit, said the Numaligarh Refinery Limited was using only waterways to transport machineries and logistics at the time of commissioning of the refinery and not roadways.
Hussain said if the 80km stretch of road was blocked, seven lakh people inhabiting the area would face an economic crisis as the national highway is the lifeline of the people living in that area.
Besides, blocking of the road will make Kaziranga National Park a safe heaven of poachers and illegal migrants, the union said.
Representatives of the AASU’s Golaghat and Nagaon district units will hold a joint meeting on October 19 at Kaliabor to discuss the further course of action.
The tribunal has granted one week’s time to the government to prepare the complete project report in consultation with ministry of environment and forests and place the same on record.