Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) on Tuesday issued a show cause notice to Odisha Chief Secretary as the State government reportedly failed to release notification for elephant corridors in the State even if there were clear instructions for the release of the same within two months.

On August 17, 2021, the NGT had asked the Odisha government to notify 14 elephant corridors in the State within next two months, realising a long-standing demand of elephant conservationists.

However, the State government failed to issue the notification following which, the conservationists lodged a complaint and the NGT soon pressed into action.

The next hearing on the matter will be held on January 30, 2023.

“In a judgment last year, NGT has directed the State government to notify the 14 identified elephant corridors within two months under environment protection act. However, the government has not taken any initiative in this matter even after 14 months,” said advocate Sankar Pani.

“We had filed an execution application in this matter. Following a hearing on this matter by NGT on December 19, 2022, a show cause notice has been issued to the Chief Secretary. NGT has directed the Chief Secretary to give an appropriate answer till January 30, 2023,” he added.

The NGT intervention came in the wake of rising elephant deaths in Odisha since 2001.

Conservationists in Odisha had moved the NGT alleging that though the Principal Chief Conservator of forests (Wildlife) had submitted details of elephant corridors in Odisha to the forest and environment department in the State in 2012 for identification of 14 corridors with a total area of 870.61 sq. kms, no action was taken for their formal notification under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.