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Supreme Court Allows Joint Inspection of Corbett Bypass 


29th July 2005

On 29 July 2005, the Supreme Court of India allowed a joint inspection of the proposed road alignment that will bypass Corbett National Park. If this alignment is finalized, it will serve to connect the two major regions of the state of Uttaranchal while avoiding damage to the Park.

The latest alignment has already been endorsed of by the states of Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh.  The Division Bench of the Supreme Court, led by Justice Sabbarwal and Justice Arun Kumar, have now allowed the Ministry of Environment and Forests and the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) to inspect it.

The controversial road project was floated by the newly created state of Uttaranchal (UA) to directly connect its Kumaon and Garhwal regions. WPSI had filed an intervention in the Supreme Court in 2001, stating that the proposed alignment would slash through Corbett Tiger Reserve, fragmenting one of the most important tiger and elephant habitats in India.

Since the Reserve lies along UA's southern border with Uttar Pradesh (UP), WPSI proposed that the stretch of road that was to cut through the Reserve could be shifted south, through UP. Over the past two years, various other alignments were proposed and shot down: mainly by UP protesting that the stretch of road in its territory would seriously damage the few forests it had left.

Finally, in July 2005, Uttaranchal and Uttar Pradesh agreed to an alignment that will shift part of the road south, avoiding damage to Corbett National Park and contiguous Reserve Forests in Uttar Pradesh. This new alignment will be jointly inspected by UA, UP, the Ministry of Environment and Forests and WPSI.

 

 

 

 

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