Tribune News Service
New Delhi, June 21
Taking note of violation of environmental norms, the Supreme Court on Friday stayed the construction of Laldhang Chillarkhal Road passing through the corridor between Rajaji and Corbett Tiger Reserves in Uttarakhand.
The construction of roads in the buffer zone of the Rajaji National Park situated between the Shivaliks and foothills of the Himalayas had attracted criticism from environmentalists who feared it would have disastrous consequences for wildlife, particularly tigers.
A Vacation Bench headed by Justice Deepak Gupta passed the order after perusing a report of the court-appointed Central Empowered Committee (CEC).
Issuing notice to the State of Uttarakhand, the top court asked it to respond in three weeks.
The advice of the National Tiger Conservation Agency and the permission of the National Board of Wildlife had not been taken, the CEC report pointed out.
"On perusal of the report it prima facie appears that the State of Uttarakhand is constructing Laldhang Chillarkhal Road which passes through corridor between Rajaji and Corbett Tiger Reserves.
It is apparent that advice of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has not been taken and permission from the standing committee of the National Board for Wildlife has also not been taken'" the court said.
The Bench—which also included Justice Surya Kant—said: "There appears to be numerous violations of the Forest Conservation Act. Therefore, further construction of the road be stopped forthwith".
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