Economy

Notice on quarrying around Kaziranga

Press Trust of India New Delhi | Updated on January 10, 2012 Published on January 10, 2012

The National Green Tribunal has sought response of the Ministry of Environment and Forest over unregulated quarrying and mining activities in the ‘no development zone' around Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve and Karbi-Anglong Elephant Reserve in Assam.

The NGT bench headed by Justice A. Suryanarayan Naidu also issued notice to Assam government and sought their reply by January 25, on a petition seeking directions to restrain the quarrying and stone-crushing units around the Kaziranga National Park, which harbours the largest population of the Indian one-horned rhinoceros.

The bench, also comprising expert memeber G.K. Pandey, passed the orders on a petition filed by Assam resident Rohit Chaudhary through advocate Ritwick Dutta.

Mr Chaudhary in his petition sought directions to MoEF “to take immediate measures to identify stone crushing units and other processes operating in the ‘No Development Zone' as demarcated in the Notification of 1996 (by the MoEF), which are operating without required prior approval and to take necessary action against them including shutting down the operations in such units.”

“The impact of stone crushing units on the Kaziranga National Park is immense and pollution caused by these units would irreversibly damage the ecological diversity of the area which supports several endangered species of flora and fauna including the one-horned Indian rhinoceros, the Asian elephant and tigers.” the petition said.

It also sought an order directing “the defaulting units to take measures to restore the environment” damaged due to their operations in proximity to the Kaziranga National Park.

The petition said the 1996 notification declared the area as ‘no development zone' and barred any pollution causing activity without prior approval of MoEF's.

It said various replies to RTI applications filed by him reveal that “neither the State nor the Central government has taken any measures to implement the notification.”

Published on January 10, 2012
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