NGT fines U’khand for not razing illegal structures in Corbett

The National Green Tribunal has rapped the Uttarakhand Government for not demolishing illegal structures in Kalagarh, the most sensitive core area of the Jim Corbett Tiger Reserve, saying it was trying to “frustrate” its directions.

A Bench headed by acting Chairperson Justice Jawad Rahim slapped a penalty of Rs 3 lakh on the state government for not filing an affidavit on demolition and asked it to file the document within a week. The green panel said it had ordered the demolition of the illegal structures inside Kalagarh. However, the state government was trying to delay compliance on the pretext that land for rehabilitation was not available.

“From the narration of the facts as stated, the intention of the state appears not honest. The order has not been complied on one pretext or the other and now the ground created is about want of land for rehabilitation before the demolition could take place. In the circumstances, we are justified in concluding that unless a serious view is taken, the state will again frustrate the directions of the tribunal,” the bench said.

The state government on September 21 last year had assured the tribunal that inhabitants would be removed and structures would be demolished as expeditiously as possible from the Jim Corbett National Park and in any case not more than one year. It had also said that the Deputy Commissioner of the area would file status-cum compliance report, every three months before the tribunal, to show progress in compliance of directions.

However, no status report has been filed despite assurance.

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