The National Green Tribunal has directed Assam-based Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to demolish the boundary wall falling in the Deopahar protected reserve forest (DPRF) as it blocked the movement of elephants.
A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel said the elephant corridors have to be preserved to protect their habitats from fragmentation and dismissed the review plea filed by NRL, while asking it to comply with its August 24, 2016 order.
"We are of the view that in view of categorical finding already recorded by the tribunal that the area where the wall came up and the area where proposed township is to come up is a part of the Deopahar Reserve Forest, rehearing on merits is not permissible. Accordingly, we do not find any ground for review of order dated August 24, 2016. The review application is dismissed," the bench said.
It had restrained the refinery from constructing a proposed township in the area as it fell under the No Development Zone (NDZ) notification issued by the Environment Ministry in 1996.
The NGT had directed the Assam government to shut down the polluting activities of the stone crushers and brick kilns in the area and take urgent steps to notify the Deopahar protected reserve forest into Reserved Forest to prevent further loss to the ecology which is close to the Kaziranga National Park.
The judgement had come on a plea filed by Rohit Choudhary, a resident of Assam, seeking directions to immediately demolish the concrete wall constructed by the Numaligarh Refinery Limited near the Deopahar protected reserve forest as it was obstructing movement of elephants.
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