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Stop constructions inside Ranthambore, SC panel tells state

 

TNN | Mar 15, 2011

JAIPUR: The Central Empowered Committee (CEC) constituted by the Supreme Court has directed the state government to bring all such activities to a stop at the Ranthambore National Park that violates the Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 or directives of the apex court.

The CEC directive follows a petition filed by Belinda Wright, executive director of the Wildlife Protection Society of India.

In the petition, Wright had alleged that the state forest department has been undertaking massive construction work at the national park which is violative of provisions in the law.

The CEC's directives to S Ahmad, chief secretary, Rajasthan, has also sought a response to the petition from the state government.

Sources said during her recent visit to the park, Wrigth came across massive construction work inside for a project undertaken by the forest department for constructing 20 big dams each costing between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 75 lakh. Later, she filed a petition with the CEC.

The department has already constructed more than 100 small anicuts and 20 ponds. Excavation work is also on for Bhanwardha Dam in the Berdha area with the use of excavator machines and explosives.

Heavy excavator machines and pneumatic drills are being used and blasting conducted for the constructions inside the park and wildlife experts pointed out that these activities are creating immense stress for the wild animals.

"A number of cement anicuts and earth dams have also been constructed around Galai Sagar while the Tambakhan road has been dug out and widened with a JCB machine, apparently to facilitate use of this road by tourist vehicles going to Zone 4," a wildlife activists said. 

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