Stone Crushers, Brick Kilns and Tea Factories Around Kaziranga Targeted
The National Green Tribunal ordered the shutdown of all stone crushers, brick kilns and tea factories using coal, within the ‘No development zone’ in the outer limits of Kaziranga National Park.
The division bench of Justice A.S. Naidu and Dr. G.K. Pandey speaking on the issue said, “MoEF and the State Government of Assam have totally failed in their duties with respect to implementation of the provisions of the 1996 Notification and due to the callous and indifferent attitude exhibited by the Authorities. Number of polluting industries, units were established in and around the No Development Zone of Kaziranga thereby posing immense threat to the biodiversity, eco-sensitive zone, ecology as well as environment.”
The investigators found this an infringement of law and directed MoEF and the Government of Assam to deposit Rs. 1, 00,000 each, with the Director, Kaziranga National Park. The moey is to be used for conservation and restoration of flora and fauna as well as biodiversity, Eco-sensitive zone, ecology and environment around Kaziranga National Park in general and within the No Development Zone in particular.
A team of experts visited Kaziranga National Park in April 2015 for an investigation with emphasis on violation of government order. They especially investigated the safety of natural surroundings inside the ‘No Development Zone and Eco Sensitive Zone. Their findings were submitted to the Supreme Court.
National Green Tribunal Findings
The tribunal order imposed a blanket ban on any development activities inside NDZ and strict preservation of the susceptibility within 10 km of the Ecologically Sensitive Zone in two successive orders passed on 22nd April and on 26th May of this year.