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Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC NOTE

 Why in News

  • The National Green Tribunal (NGT) has asked Assam’s Chief Secretary to provide details of officers who allowed polling stations, schools, and other construction activities in a wildlife sanctuary and a reserve forest in gross violation of the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980.

  • In an affidavit filed in April, the State government said several schools, a tea garden, a 5-km road, and wells were found to have been built in the Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary and the adjoining Charduar Reserve forest apart from polling stations under the Dhekiajuli, Rangapara, and Sootea Assembly constituencies

Whether construction activities in a wildlife sanctuary and a reserve forest allowed?

  • The Supreme Court last year permitted forest dwellers to legitimately continue with their traditional activities, farming, construction of houses and schools within the eco-sensitive zones (ESZs) of national parks and wildlife sanctuaries.

  • The SC bench said, “Hundreds of villages are situated within the ESZs in the country. If no permanent construction is to be permitted for any purpose, a villager who is desirous to reconstruct his house would not be permitted.”

  • If the government decides to construct schools, dispensaries, anganwadis, village stores, water tanks and other basic structures for improvement of the life of the villagers, the same would also not be permitted

  • The effect of the order will be to prevent the state or the central government from constructing roads and provide other facilities to villagers,” the bench said.

  • Even a farmer desirous to continue farming activities would be required to seek such permission

  • However, the bench refused to relax its consistent directions banning mining within ESZs

  • “Mining within the national park and wildlife sanctuary and within an area of 1 km from the boundary shall not be permissible,” it said


Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary

  • Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary is a protected area located in the state of Assam in India. 

  • This wildlife sanctuary covers 175 km2.

  • It is located along the foothills of the Great Himalayan Range. 

  • Four rivers flow through the sanctuary: Gabharu, Gelgeli, Sonai and Rupai.

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Learnerz IAS | Concept oriented UPSC Classes in Malayalam: Sonai Rupai Wildlife Sanctuary UPSC NOTE
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