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NGT Directs Authorities To Shut Down Illegal Establishments In Rajaji National Park

New Delhi [India]: The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has directed the concerned authorities of Uttrakhand state to shut down illegal establishments in the Chilla Range of Rajaji National Park.

NGT said all commercial activity in the forest in violation of the judgement of the Supreme Court is to be stopped. Responsibility for implementing these directions will be of the State PCB, District Magistrates and Director, Rajaji Tiger Reserve.

The directions of NGT were passed on October 10 by the Bench headed by its Chief Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel while hearing a plea moved by ‘All India Yound Lawyer Association’ against alleged illegal functioning of hotels, resorts, pubs, clubs and ashrams and other illegal commercial activities in Chilla Range of Rajaji National Park.

The Tribunal in July month had sought a factual and action-taken report from a joint Committee of the District Magistrate, Haridwar, State PCB, Director, Rajaji Tiger Reserve and nominee of District Legal Services Authority, Haridwar.

The concern report filed later, stated that around 19 establishments were violating the environmental norms with regard to the disposal of solid and other waste and 17 were operating without requisite consent/NOC while two had the NOC.

NGT after taking cognizance of the report said, the State Pollution Control Bureau may recover compensation from the 19 establishments for violation of environmental norms, following due process of law, within three months. The amount recovered may be utilized for restoration measures under the supervision of the Committee already constituted preferably within six months.

NGT further added that the illegally operating establishments may be closed.

The Tribunal also said, since it is not clear as to how any commercial activity can be allowed in a Tiger reserve even with NOC, such NOC said to have been issued to two establishments may be reconsidered as per law and if the same is found to be illegal, the same may be withdrawn.

While posting the matter for February 24, 2023, NGT seeks an interim action taken report of compliance status by the Director, Rajaji Tiger Reserve in the matter.

Chilla Wildlife Sanctuary has nestled on the east banks of the river Ganga. The sanctuary was established in 1977 and was combined with the sanctuary of Motichur and Rajaji in the year 1983 to create Rajaji National Park. The area is known as an electricity creator (on the River) area in the Pauri Garhwal district in Uttarakhand state. It is also well known as a wild tourist place of Uttarakhand, standing in the middle of Rishikesh and Haridwar, nearby Ganga Bhogpur.



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