Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding obstruction of tiger corridors by new road projects, Maharashtra, 07/07/2020
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of News item published in "The Times of India" Authored by Vijay Pinjarkar Titled "String of new road projects in Maha to cut off tiger corridors" dated 07/07/2020.
The issue for consideration is the obstruction of tiger corridors by new road projects in the State of Maharashtra by the State of Maharashtra and the Ministry of Road Transport (MoRTH), Government of India. It was reported that the necessary steps and precautions in such road projects for protection of environment and wildlife were lacking.
On January 6, 2020, the Tribunal considered the matter in the light of report of the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) dated November 16, 2011. The NTCA report specified mitigation measures to be taken in construction of the road projects in question. The report mentioned disagreement of the MoRTH with the stand of the NTCA on the ground that it involved cost and the court had overruled the said objection.
A modified action plan has been filed on behalf of the Additional Director General of Forest (Project Tiger)/Member Secretary, National Tiger Conservation Authority on April 15, 2020. The report stated that the MoRTH has not agreed in respect of two roads and the NGT said that MoRTH cannot proceed with the project without complying with the action plan prepared by the NTCA which was necessary for precautions in view of potential of affecting the wildlife. The MoRTH also said that the Ministry cannot fund any additional expenditure for the mitigation measures.
The NGT ordered that if the project proponent (MoRTH) wishes to proceed with a project, then safety precautions for protection of wildlife needs to be taken and the project can only proceed subject to the action plan prepared by the NTCA.