Monday, 30th October 2017

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NRL defying court order on wall in jumbo corridor: green activist

Tribunal had directed NRL to demolish a wall constructed on an elephant corridor

By Sanjoy Hazarika in Bokakhat
  • Published 22.02.19, 12:40 AM
  • Updated 22.02.19, 10:59 AM
  • 2 mins read
  •  
The wall on the elephant corridor Picture by Sanjoy Hazarika

Environmental activist Rohit Choudhury has appealed to the Assam chief secretary to take action against Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) for non-compliance with the National Green Tribunal (NGT) and the Supreme Court’s orders.

The activist also sent copies of his letter to the Supreme Court and the principal chief conservator of forest and other senior administrative officers to look into the matter.

The NGT had directed the NRL authorities to demolish a wall constructed on an elephant corridor during extension of its township.

But Choudhury of Lokhoujan, Golaghat, challenged the construction, since it created a major obstacle in the movement of elephants from Karbi Anglong to Kaziranga National Park through the Deopahar corridor.

The NGT had directed NRL to demolish the wall based on the application no. 38/2011 filed by Choudhury.

But NRL filed a review application with the NGT and the NGT dismissed the application on August 3, 2018, and directed NRL to vacate the land within a month.

Later, NRL moved the Supreme Court and the court upheld the order of the NGT on August 24, 2016.

The order said the wall was constructed at the no-development zone declared by the Union ministry of environment and forest in 1996.

But even after the Supreme Court’s order, the NRL authorities did not pay heed.

Golaghat deputy commissioner Dhiren Hazarika also asked NRL authorities to demolish the wall in Deopahar reserve forest on or before Thursday. The date was now over and no action was initiated by NRL.

Finally, Choudhury appealed to the Assam chief secretary Alok Kumar to initiate action against NRL. On Wednesday, he urged Kumar to take action as per the provisions of Sections 26, 27 and 28 of the NGT Act, 2010.

The sections invite serious penalty for non-compliance with the NGT’s order.

Talking to The Telegraph, the chief general manager (HR) of NRL, Debashish Choudhury, said: “We have not thought about the matter yet. No decision has been taken regarding vacating the acquired land for the proposed extension of township.”

Dhiren Handiqui, an official of NRL, said: “We are not aware of any direction of the NGT or the Supreme Court regarding the boundary wall or other development.”

Additional deputy commissioner in charge of revenue Utpal Doley said, “The administration will not tolerate the callous attitude of NRL. We will follow the order of the apex court and the NGT and demolish all the construction on the elephant corridor made by NRL.”