Elephant corridor: Orissa HC interim order brings respite to Odisha Govt from NGT slam

Bhubaneswar: Orissa High Court in Cuttack issued an interim order today, in which the court stayed the National Green Tribunal (NGT)’s directive given to the Odisha government on April 6 insisting to notify for construction of at least 14 elephant corridors in the State within a month.

Hearing of a case pertaining to the issue subjudice in the NGT has also been stayed by the High Court. The court noticed the Wildlife Society of India and Ministry of Forests, Environment and Climate Change (MoFE&CC), Govt. of India in this regard as the case is to be combinedly heard on May 9.

A writ petition filed by the State government in Orissa High Court has been accepted for hearing by a division bench comprising Chief Justice S Muralidhar and Justice Gourishankar Satapathy. Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) and Chief Wildlife Warden, Odisha would have faced a ‘contempt of court’ charge as the deadline is about to end, a source said.

It is pertinent to mention, the NGT had asked the State government on April 6 to abide by its earlier order issued on August 17, 2021, with respect to notification for 14 elephant corridors.

The Wildlife Society of India had moved the NGT in 2016 seeking the latter’s intervention. Accordingly, NGT insisted the State government notify for the construction of elephant corridors at 14 different locations as was identified by Asian Nature Conservation Foundation (ANCF).

NGT had then decried the alleged inaction and sought clarification from the PCCF.

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