National Green Tribunal orders halt on Pakhro Tiger Safari project in Jim Corbett after 6,000 trees illegally cut

The tribunal ordered that the project should not go ahead until a committee identifies offenders and the environmental damage is undone.
National Green Tribunal (NGT)
National Green Tribunal (NGT)

The National Green Tribunal (NGT/ tribunal) recently ordered that the Pakhro Tiger Safari project in Jim Corbett National Park be halted in view of the fact that around 6,000 trees were illegally cut for the project [In re: news item published in the Newspaper The Hindu dated 02.10.2022...].

The tribunal ordered that the project should not go ahead until a committee identifies offenders and the environmental damage is undone.

The case was initiated by the tribunal suo motu based on a report by The Hindu which said that according to a report by the Forest Survey of India (FSI), 6,000 trees as opposed to the sanctioned 163, were illegally cut for the safari project.

On examining the report, Justices Adarsh Kumar Goel and Sudhir Agarwal, and expert member Prof. A Senthil Veil noted that the illegality in cutting the trees was clearly acknowledged. As a result, the tribunal stated that accountability must be fixed and environmental damage must be repaired.

Accordingly, the tribunal constituted a three-member committee to identify violators as well as steps required for environmental restoration.

The committee was directed to submit a report to Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF&CC) within a month. Until then, it said, the project may not proceed.

"Accordingly, we constitute a three-Member Committee comprising DG, Forest Department, ADG, Wildlife Department and ADG, Project Tiger to identify the violators and the steps required for restoration of environment. Its report with specific recommendations may be furnished to the Secretary, MoEF&CC within one month and steps for further course of action in the matter be finalised within next one month. Till then the Project may not be allowed to proceed," the order stated.

[Read Order]

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NGT on its own motion order dated 3.11.2022.pdf
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