“Why No States Are Listening To Govt Of India?, It Is A Crisis Situation” SC On Elephant Corridor
“It is a crisis situation. If state governments will say we will do whatever we want and let the Government of India say anything, there will be a complete breakdown of the system”: Supreme Court
“Why the states are not responding to Union Of India’s orders on creating elephant corridors. How come you are so helpless”, the Supreme Court has asked the Centre.
The comments from a bench of justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta came when Additional Solicitor General A N S Nadkarni was informed by the Centre that there were 27 critical elephant corridors falling in 22 states, but despite the top court’s directions, 13 of these states have not responded to the government on the matter.
The bench asked: “So ? What is to be done? No state is listening to Government of India. Yesterday, we had the same problem, today we have the same problem. It is hopeless. There has to be a solution of this. Is the Government of India helpless”, the bench asked the ASG.
On April 23 the court had directed 19 states to file their responses within four weeks.
“The states are showing and proving that they have scant regard for the Union and the Supreme Court of India”, said the ASG.
The bench then added: “Also to the constitution of India. It is a crisis situation. If state governments will say we will do whatever we want and let the Government of India say anything, there will be a complete breakdown of the system”.
Earlier Nadkarni referred to the April 23 order of the apex court and said that out of the 22 states, three states — Kerala, Meghalaya and West Bengal — had responded earlier while five others have also given their responses to the Centre. He said there were incidents of elephant deaths in rail or road accidents or by electrocution. The counsel appearing for Nagaland said they have also given their response to the Centre on the issue. The bench noted in its order that 13 states, including Uttarakhand, Odisha, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab and Rajasthan have not responded to the Centre on the issue of elephant corridors.
On April 23 the court had said 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.
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.