The Southern Bench of the National Green Tribunal took suo moto cognisance of a report in The Hindu that a road was being laid within the eco-sensitive zone of the sanctuary in Srivilliputtur, without permission from the Forest Department

No one is entitled to encroach upon forest land for non-foresting activities without getting necessary permission from the Forest Department, especially in a declared Wild Life Sanctuary, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) said.

The Southern Bench of the NGT took suo moto cognisance of a report in The Hindu that a road was being laid within the eco-sensitive zone of the Grizzled Squirrel Wildlife Sanctuary in Srivilliputtur, without permission from the Forest Department.

“Even if the alleged road is being constructed within the eco- sensitive zone or within the regulated zones, such activities will have to be controlled and regulated by the Forest Department for which permission will have to be obtained from them including the National Board of Wild Life,” the bench said.

To ascertain the genuineness of the allegations made by the activists in the report, and the impact of the alleged road construction within the Sanctuary, the NGT appointed a joint committee comprising a senior officer from the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, a senior officer not below the rank of Chief Conservator of Forests, the Wild Life Warden of the Sanctuary, and District Collector, Virudhunagar, to inspect the area and submit a factual as well as action-taken report, if any violation is found.

The Committee has been directed to submit its report to the Tribunal on or before November 5.



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