A bench headed by Justice Madan B Lokur has asked Centre to suggest some solutions like elephant corridors to save the pachyderms across the country and prevent them from dying after hit by vehicles or trains. Centre has been directed to come up with proposals within ten days after which the court said, it would pass orders.
Veerappan is dead and after that the number of elephants in southern states went up. But now they are getting killed due to accidents and other reasons, the Supreme Court said asking Centre to come up with suggestions like exclusive corridors to save the pachyderms across the country and prevent such fatalities.
Three months ago the court, in response to a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Wildlife Conservation Society-India (WCS) and Wildlife Conservation Trust had suggested that nine States acquire land across 27 high-priority corridors to enable safe movement of elephants. But there has not been much headway.
“Look, you have to do something in this elephant corridor issue. You find out some solution and let us know, a bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta told Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni who appeared for the Centre during the hearing yesterday.
“We are nobody to tell the elephants where they should go but they must have a corridor. We get to know that so many elephants are getting killed after run over by trains. Veerappan had almost killed all the elephants. He died and now things and number of elephants have improved. But elephants were now getting killed due to some other reasons. So you have to find out a solution”, the bench told the government.
Centre has been directed to come up with proposals within ten days after which the court said, it would pass orders.
On January 19 , the union had informed another bench of the apex court headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra that a standing committee of the wildlife board would consider suggestions, including making 27 corridors across India for safe passage of elephants and other endangered animals, later in the month.
The petitioners in the case pending before the CJI-led bench had given suggestions, including a mechanism to curb human-animal conflict, measures to reduce animal deaths on the roads, highways and by electrocution and plan to protect critically-endangered Great Indian Bustard. The petitioners had also referred to unnatural deaths of elephants on highways and railway tracks and have said that areas earmarked for these animals were not sufficient. Regarding the suggestions pertaining to human-animal conflict and recovery plans for critically endangered Great Indian Bustard, the government had said in its earlier affidavit that an in-depth study has been prepared by the Ministry of Environment and Forest and Climate Change for the period 2017-2031.