NGT refuses to entertain plea for direction to provide basic amenities in 10 villages outside Rajaji National Park, Legal News, ET LegalWorld – Legal Firms

New Delhi, The National Green Tribunal has refused to entertain a plea seeking direction to the Centre and the Uttarakhand government to provide basic facilities such as road, electricity, water, school and health centres in 10 villages situated on the periphery of the Rajaji National Park. A bench of NGT chairperson Adarsh Goel, judicial member Sudhir Agarwal and expert member A Senthil Vel said the application has been filed in a matter which was disposed of on August 27, 2018, with the observation that the grievance was not within the purview of this tribunal.

“In the application now filed, it is stated that authorities are not looking into the grievances of the applicant. In view of the earlier order referred to above, the application cannot be entertained and will stand disposed accordingly without prejudice to any other remedy in accordance with law,” the green panel said in a recent order.

During the hearing, advocate Dushyant Prashar, appearing for Madan Singh Bisht, a resident of one of the 10 villages, said on August 27, 2018, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had granted liberty to the petitioner to make the representation to authorities concerned.

He submitted that Bisht made the representation to the secretary of the state government, chief conservator of forest (wildlife), Dehradun and director of the Rajaji National Park but till now no response has been received.

With regard to Bisht’s village, which is situated just outside the Rajaji National Park, authorities must provide all basic facilities to people to lead a normal life or in the alternative, in view of rehabilitation schemes and guidelines framed for relocation of people residing in forest areas by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the applicant may be rehabilitated or compensation be awarded, Prashar submitted.

“The fate of the applicant is in the lurch in as much as the applicant and his family members are leading their life under serious fear of death, in as much as the residence and the human habitation area of the applicant is being frequently visited by the ferocious animals like elephant, lion, python during peak afternoon or in the night making the life of the inhabitants of the village difficult…” the plea said.

It said there is lack of basic facilities and even the NTCA scheme on rehabilitation has not seen the light of day despite the fact that the authority was conceived in 2008.

Bisht annexed photographs and videos to buttress his claim and said the plight of his family members and identically situated villages is evident from them, and they are forced to lead a life of inferior citizens.

“It is further submitted that as per the National Forest Policy the rights and concessions enjoyed by the tribals and other poor living within and nearby forest revolves around the forest in as much as the forest should be fully protected”, the plea said. PTI MNL MNL ANB ANB

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