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How many animals have died due to traffic in Kaziranga: green panel

The National Green Tribunal has asked Assam government to provide the exact number of animal casualties -- road accidents at the Kaziranga National Park -- so far due to traffic movement on National Highway-37 that passes through the home of the famous one-horned rhinos.

It directed the State government and the director of the Kaziranga National Park to inform it on ``how many animals have died because of vehicular movement along the highway’’.

A Bench headed by NGT chairman Justice Swatanter Kumar also directed the Sarbananda Sonowal government to apprise it of the progress made in installation of sensor-operated automated traffic barriers to prevent these deaths.

Original records

“Counsel appearing for the State shall produce original records before us to show what steps in terms of the previous orders of the tribunal have been taken for installation of sensor barriers for preventing animal conflict. They will also show how many vehicles with interceptor speed sensors have been installed and deployed mainly in the Kaziranga National Park and how many challans were effected from the date of directions till today. Let all information with original record be placed before the Tribunal on September 30," the Bench said.

On the issue of detailed project report (DPR) on measures to curb growing wildlife deaths, the NGT said the document should be prepared in consultation with Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun.

The tribunal's direction came during a hearing on a plea filed by environmentalist Rohit Choudhury opposing the expansion of NH-37 which passes from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat through the Kaziranga Park.

On the last date of hearing, the Road Transport and Highways Ministry had told the Bench that the DPR prepared by the State government had been approved.

Sonowal government asked to apprise it of the progress made in installation of sensor-operated automated traffic barriers

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