The apex court had on Friday ordered a ban on mining along the southern fringes of Kaziranga’s boundary and all the catchment area of rivers and streams originating in Karbi Anglong. It also asked the state government not to permit construction, even on private lands, which are a part of the nine identified animal corridors.
In its order, the SC has ordered that superintendents of police of Karbi Anglong, Nagaon and Golaghat districts to ensure that illegally-mined materials from the hills of Karbi Anglong are not transported. Kaziranga spans across these three districts.
The apex court had passed the judgment after taking cognizance of Central Empowered Committee’s (CEC) report number 6 of 2019. The report is based on a complaint filed by Bokakhat-based environment activist Rohit Choudhury, alleging of rampant illegal mining activities. Subsequently, the CEC, before filing the report, carried out field visits in 2018. “This judgment may decide the future course of conservation in Kaziranga. This much awaited judgment was delivered after the state authorities, Assam forest department and Karbi Anglong authorities continued to be indifferent to the plight to wildlife and ecology of Kaziranga. Mining activities and encroachment of crucial wildlife corridors were continuing unabated,” Choudhury said.
Meanwhile, the state government has sought three weeks’ for filing its comments over the CEC report. A notice has also been issued to department of environment and forests, Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council in this regard.
Last year, based on the complaint filed by Choudhary, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), after making field visits to the adjoining area of Kaziranga, had recommended a ban on all kinds of mining activities in Kaziranga.