Any vehicle found over-speeding inside the Kaziranga National Park will have to pay an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 besides challan under the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act, the National Green Tribunal today said. A bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar passed the order after the director of the park, who was present before it, informed it that four animals have died since January this year despite installation of sensor- operated automated traffic barriers to prevent these deaths.
“Why have these animals died despite installation of barriers. You should take effective measures to stop these animal casualties. “Every vehicle which is challaned for over-speeding will have to pay an environment compensation of Rs 5,000 per accident over and above the challan as prescribed under the MV Act,” the bench said.
Earlier, the bench had asked the Assam government and the director of the Kaziranga National Park to inform it on how how many animals have died because of vehicular movement along the highway. The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by environmentalist Rohit Choudhury opposing the expansion of NH-37 which passes from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat through the Kaziranga Park.
The NGT had earlier ordered demolition of roadside shops and eateries along the animal corridors near Kaziranga, among a slew of directions in the wake of increasing wildlife casualties due to vehicular movement on the adjacent highway. The Gauhati High Court, however, had stayed the order on demolishing shops and ‘dhabas’ located within 100 metres of National Highway 37.
The green panel had also asked the Assam government to ensure fixation of sensor-operated automatic barriers at the animal corridors and ascertain whether speed-check cameras were in working condition or not. It had also directed the Union Ministry to take clear instructions as to whether or not it proposed to issue any draft notification in regard to Kaziranga Eco Sensitive Zone.