Despite a SupremeCourt ban, fresh construction blocking one of the nine major animal corridorsof the Kaziranga National Park (KNP) has been started which raised eyebrows inthe state.
TheAll Assam Jatiyatabadi Yuba Chhatra Parishad, a students' body, has soughtaction against the builders allegedly linked to the ruling dispensation in theState. Their demand followed a conservationist's letter to Assam ChiefSecretary Kumar Sanjay Krishna pointing out that allowing the new constructionworks within an animal corridor was contempt of the apex court.
Thebuilders have reportedly uprooted signboards put up by the KNP authorities tomark Kanchanjuri, one of the corridors used by animals to move between the 898sq km one-horned rhino habitat and the hills of Karbi Anglong districtseparated by a highway.
In a letter dated June6, eastern Assam-based Rohit Choudhury said, "It is not as if this violation is happeningin some remote part of Kaziranga or Karbi Anglong but right next to the NationalHighway-37 that passes through the Kanchanjuri animal corridor and is visibleto every passer-by."
Referring to theSupreme Court's April 12, 2019 order disallowing new construction on privatelands that form part of the nine identified animal corridors of the KNP, Choudhurysaid the "brazen violation" could not have happened without the complicity ofthe park authorities and the Nagaon district administration.
"Enough damage has been done to the areasaround Kaziranga because of illegal stone quarrying and encroachment. The newconstruction has to stop," the students' union said in a statement.
However,KNP Director P Sivakumar said, "We have taken note of the development and theofficials concerned have been asked to take action."
"Weshall take time off our COVID-19 duties to attend to the issue once we get theofficial order in hand," said D. Bora, circle officer of Kaliabor in Nagaon district.Kanchanjuri falls under Kaliabor.