The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has directed the Assam government to take action on allegations of occupation of government land in Kaziranga National Park and Tiger Reserve (KNPTR) and destruction of wildlife corridors as well as conflicts between humans and animals.
Authorities issued the order following allegations by wildlife activist Rohit Chowdhury on the violations of forest clearance, excavation work in the wildlife corridor and occupation of government land, destruction of the wildlife corridor and obstruction of wildlife movement.
“In view of the alleged violations, for furnishing the factual status of the said matter and also to take action as appropriate for preventing the destruction and encroachment of animal corridors between Kaziranga and Karbi Anglong. The matter may please be treated as most urgent,” the letter issued by NTCA to Assam chief secretary Jishnu Baruah on May 12 read.
The NTCA had sent a similar letter to the Assam government in February this year on the basis of similar allegations. However, authorities said that “necessary measures are still pending.”
In April 2019, the Supreme Court issued an order prohibiting any construction on private land that is part of the KNPTR and nine adjacent wildlife corridors.
However, subsequent studies have found 22 illegal constructions, of which only one has been removed so far. The structure includes a government guest house, a liquor store, six car parks, five resorts, a residential building, a wedding hall, two restaurants, a café and a hotel.
In March this year, the Supreme Court’s Central Empowered Committee (CEC) accused the Assam government of failing to protect the KNPTR and its nine cattle corridors and ordered the demolition and speedy removal of illegal establishments.
The NTCA on May 19 sent another letter to the Government of Assam regarding the human-wildlife conflict connecting KNPTR and Karbi Anglong Hills under the East Assam Wildlife Division and Nagaon (Regional) Division from 2010-11 to 2019-20.
“Appropriate action in the said matter may please be initiated immediately and instructions may be issued for furnishing the factual status/action taken to this authority within May 25,” the letter to chief secretary Jishnu Baruah read.