Rs 11 cr sanctioned for sensor barriers in Kaziranga: NGT told
New Delhi: The Assam government on Wednesday told the National Green Tribunal that it has sanctioned a budget of Rs 11 crore for installation of sensor-operated automated traffic barriers to control the death of animals in road accidents near the Kaziranga National Park.
The state government informed a bench headed by Justice Jawad Rahim that the matter was pending approval in the assembly which is currently holding its budget session.
The Assam government also told the tribunal that it would start issuing tenders for the installation of sensor barriers in six areas inside the national park within four weeks from today once the assembly clears it. "We direct that the undertaking given by the Assam government would be complied and the tenders will be issued within four weeks," the bench said.
During the hearing, the green panel exempted the appearance of Additional Secretary, Environment and Forest and Secretary in-charge, Finance and Planning (Additional Chief Secretary Finance and Planning) after it was informed that he was busy in the budget session.
The matter will now be heard on April 26.
The tribunal had earlier rejected the Assam government's proposal to engage manpower in place of installation of sensor-operated automated traffic barriers to control the death of animals in road accidents near the Kaziranga National Park. It had rapped the state government over its proposal and said except revealing the budgetary constraints there was no reason to go for the alternative proposal.
The state government had proposed to engage additional manpower to monitor the animal corridor stretch of the NH-37 which passes from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat along the reserve.
It had last year told the tribunal that it had already spent an amount of Rs 1.45 crore on installation of animal sensor barriers at Malini in the national park stretch to check speeding vehicles on the NH-37.
Another amount of Rs 39 lakh will be required for purchase of two additional thermal cameras for installation in the same place, it had said.
Since the required fund was currently not available in the budget, the state government has decided to submit a supplementary demand in the next session of the assembly, it had said.
The tribunal was hearing a plea filed by wildlife activist Rohit Choudhury opposing the widening of NH-37 which passes from Jakhalabandha to Bokakhat along the reserve.
The tribunal had earlier said that any vehicle found crossing the 40-km speed limit on the NH-37 will have to pay an environment compensation of Rs 5,000, besides a fine under the Motor Vehicles Act.