Judiciary finally comes to help of wild life in Uttarakhand

Dehra Dun: In what has spread cheer amongst wild life lovers in Uttarakhand and is being perceived as a move that may finally bring much-needed relief to the wild elephants and feline population in this small hill state, the judiciary has finally taken note of the deaths of the wild elephants and leopard and tiger population.Judiciary finally comes to help of wild life in Uttarakhand

A double bench of the Supreme court, comprising Justice K S Radhakrishan and Justice Deepak Mishra, has after hearing a PIL filed by a Shakti Prasad Nayak has issued notices to the central government, union ministry of forest and environment, the Railways and 14 states having large elephant herds, where elephants are dying on being hit by trains and nothing is being done to contain the problem.

Meanwhile a bench of the Uttarakhand High Court, comprising Chief Justice Barin Ghosh and Justice Alok Singh has served a notice to the Uttarakhand government asking it to furnish the details of the arrangements that have been made for the protection of elephants and tigers in the Corbett National Park.

The notice has been issued in a PIL filed by the Himalayan Yuva Gramin Sansthan, an NGO, which has categorically stated that the illegal construction of hotel and resorts in the Reserve area, was not only threatening the movement of the pachyderms and felines, but was also a threat to their security.

It may be recalled that that the Dehra Dun-Haridwar railway line passing through the Rajaji Sanctuary has become a threat to the wild elephant population that is there. Conservative estimates put the number of pachyderms that have been killed by the trains running along the tracks over the past few years at over 20, but no efforts have been made so far to take stock of the situation.

Likewise the deaths of almost 50 leopards and tigers in the two months of this year has raised eyebrows over the rampant killing of the felines, not only by locals due to the man-animal conflict, but also poachers who have been active in this small hill state and have passed on the skins and other parts to smugglers who smuggle it to adjoining countries, where these are used in medicines.

Though concern has been shown by the state forest department over the large number of deaths of the felines, but precious little has been done at the ground level to take stock of the situation and undertake measures that could reduce the man-animal conflict and thereby the killing of leopards in particular, who are known to lift cattle and children in search of prey.

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  1. says: Lt Gen Dr Mohan Bhandari

    Both- the Honourable Supreme Court of India & High Court of Uttarakhand at Nainital need to be complimented on their twisting the tails of the Union Ministry of Environment & Forest & 14 affected States & Uttarakhand Govt for their lackadaisical & unprofessional approach to safeguard the lives of wild elephants,tigers & leopards.In fact, while a moratorium on visits of all National Parks for at least 5 years needs to be imposed,there is an emergent requirement to carry out an audit of all constructions undertaken around the core areas of these Sanctuaries that have endangered the Flora & Fauna beyond repair.In making the so called Eco Resorts,there is a distinct signature of Political ,Bureaucratic & Mafia nexus.Unfortunately, the professionalism in the Forest departments in on a dismal low, & all Forest Officers right from top to bottom still work on British imperialist model.In a state like Uttarakhand ,that borders Tibet & Nepal, there is a highly organised Mafia that deals in sale/purchase of skins of tigers/panthers/bears/all types of deer family ,bones, fat,,gall bladder ,horns, etc. Most of these items are smuggled out to China via Nepal.It is understood that even Forest Department people at the Field Level are hands in gloves with the Mafia gangs.There are no holistic & coordinated policies on breeding & there is no gridded cum dedicated vet cover.Things are pretty bad & as a result of this,we are losing our precious wild life.The State Governments do not seem concerned.I recommend penal deductions out of the monthly pay of Forest Officials for their omissions & commissions resulting in the death of elephants,tigers,leopards & the like.

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