Eco-sensitive zone in Kaziranga: ASDC demands all-party meeting

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HT Bureau

DIPHU, May 16: While opposing a 10km eco-sensitive zone around Kaziranga National Park, the Autonomous State Demand Committee (ASDC) on Thursday demanded Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council (KAAC) chief executive member (CEM) Tuliram Ronghang to convene an all-party meeting immediately to discuss the issue.

“Ronghang should immediately convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue,” ASDC said in a statement here Thursday.

On December 13, last, the Supreme Court in a judgement directed ministry of environment and forest (MoEF) to maintain 10km of the eco-sensitive zone around 21 National Parks and Wildlife Reserves. This would mean that there can’t be any factory, construction site, any manufacturing unit or thick population density up to 10 km from wildlife reserves and national parks.

However, declaration of Kaziranga National Park’s peripheries as an eco-sensitive zone continues to hang fire even after the government preparing a draft proposal in this regard, with conservationists now raising doubts over the government’s commitment to protect the pristine habitat.

In another order on April 13, 2019, the apex court banned all mining and construction activities in 10 km catchment areas around the national park priming the district administrations of Golaghat, Nagaon and Karbi Anglong to promulgate Section 144 of CrPC in the areas.

KAAC has already opposed the move for declaration of eco sensitive zone in Karbi Anglong boundary and filed a special leave petition in the court in this regard.

The ASDC dragged former CEM and present MLA Joyram Engleng for handing over land of Karbi Anglong for Project Tiger in Kaziranga National Park in 2012.

“In 1971, 33 square kilometres of land of Karbi Anglong was sold at Rs. 4,71,000 by those in the Karbi Anglong Autonomous Council, the amount was returned and the land was brought back by the council when the ASDC was in power in 1998,” the release said.

“The Congress, when it was in power at Diphu, Dispur and Delhi it did nothing. It is the same with the BJP, they don’t have the will to stop the process,” it added.

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