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SC panel asks Assam to remove illegal structures from Kaziranga’s wildlife corridors

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The Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee on Thursday told the Assam government to remove illegal constructions on eight of the nine wildlife corridors in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve, The Hindu reported.

Central Empowered Committee Member-Secretary Amarnatha Shetty told the state chief secretary to take action on the illegal constructions within four weeks and submit a report to the panel.

The committee’s order followed a report by the Union environment ministry that had taken note of several new structures on the corridors, set up in violation of a Supreme Court order passed in April 2019.

The court had banned new construction on the lands that are a part of the nine wildlife corridors of the reserve that is considered a safe area for the one-horned rhinos, The Hindu reported. The court had also requested authorities to stop mining on the corridors.

In August, Deputy Inspector-General of Forest (Central) Laetita J Syiemiong, representing the environment ministry, surveyed the construction on the corridors based on a complaint by Rohit Choudhury, an activist from Assam.

In her report, Syiemiong had mentioned that a temple, shops, hotels, restaurants, tea estates and even a government building were built on the eight corridors. Other constructions include a wedding hall, a resort, and a house owned by a local minister….

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