NRL to show how many trees cut for golf course in elephant corridor

Green Tribunal also directs Assam Govt. to inspect the site

Updated - October 07, 2015 05:47 am IST

Published - October 07, 2015 12:00 am IST - NEW DELHI:

The development has led to increased man-animal conflict and many elephants have lost their lives, says environmentalist.

The development has led to increased man-animal conflict and many elephants have lost their lives, says environmentalist.

The Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL), which has come under question for developing a golf course by destroying a vital elephant corridor in Kaziranga leading to increased man-animal conflict and pachyderms’ mortality, will now have to share how many trees it has cut for the project.

The National Green Tribunal has directed NRL to show how many trees have been cut for the project, which has been criticized by the forest officials as a threat to nature, and how many planted as compensatory afforestation.

“We direct the Project Proponent to place on record complete documents to show as how many trees they have cut and how many trees have they planted as afforestation and what is the mortality rate of the trees planted,” said a Bench headed by NGT chairperson Swatanter Kumar.

The Bench also directed the Assam government to inspect the location.

It is to be noted that the golf course is being developed in the township by acquiring a no-development zone and wall with barbed wire fencing and razor edges has been erected separating the golf course from the rest of the area to restrict the entry of elephants moving along the corridor of the Kaziranga-Karbi Anglong reserve for their foraging and survival need.

DFO Golaghat Division has also written to SEIAA, Assam stating how NRL has been “continuously violating rules” and that “NRL has started construction of a Golf Course, very close to Deopahar PRF along the elephant corridor by removing the forest cover, cutting and mining the highland and hillocks… This is causing very serious threat to Wildlife, biodiversity, and the fragile ecosystem of the Deopahar PRF and adjoining areas. Further the Biodiversity impact assessment was also not carried out.”

To this, the NGT has directed SEIAA to take a final view.

A site inspection report showed a large tract cleared of vegetation for the golf course.

Environmental activist Rohit Choudhury says the development has led to increased man-animal conflict and many elephants have lost their lives.

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