The National Green Tribunal announced on 17 May 2017 that any vehicle found over-speeding inside the Kaziranga National Park would have to pay an environment compensation of Rs 5000 besides challan under the Motor Vehicles (MV) Act.
The order was passed by a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Justice Swatanter Kumar. The decision was taken after the park’s director informed the tribunal about four animal deaths since January 2017 despite the installation of sensor-operated automated traffic barriers to prevent such fatalities.
Further, the bench advised the park authorities to take effective measures to stop these animal casualties.
• The bench had earlier asked the Assam government and the director of the Kaziranga National Park to inform it on the number of animals dying because of vehicular movement along the highway.
• This followed the filing of a plea by environmentalist Rohit Choudhury, who opposed the expansion of NH-37 which passes from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat through the Kaziranga Park.
• The green tribunal had also requested the Assam government to fix sensor-operated automatic barriers at the animal corridors and determine whether speed-check cameras were in working condition or not.
Besides this, the NGT had also earlier ordered demolition of roadside shops and eating places along the animal corridors near Kaziranga. The Gauhati High Court, however, had stayed the order on demolishing the shops and 'dhabas' located within 100 metres of National Highway 37.