Uttarakhand High Court Directs State govt to Declare Elephant Safari Corridors in Jim Corbett National Park

March 6th, 2023

As a part of the crucial order, the Uttarakhand High Court ordered the Central Government to seriously consider proclaiming the elephant corridors in Jim Corbett National Park and Ramnagar Forest as ‘eco-sensitive zones’ under the Environment Protection Act, 1986.

After the hearing in court, Public Interest Litigation was filed by the NGO in order to safeguard the elephant corridors in Corbett National Park specifically in Chilkiya – Kota, Malani – Kota, and South Patlidun – Chilkiya, this was done only with the aim of preventing disturbances in the elephant corridors.

Also, the State and Central Government dictated that no construction is allowed within the elephant corridors be it a restaurant, hotel or resort, etc which may harm the tranquility of the surroundings.

According to the forum, the encroachment has been taking place in the natural abode of the elephant corridors thereby hindering the road construction and the resort’s revenue land alongside river Kosi, fulfilling the water requirements of the elephants and other wild animals inhabiting the forested area.

Being a quick-witted animal species, the elephants have naturally adjusted themselves to the dynamic environment through all these years where plenty of changes are taking place in their surroundings be it anthropogenic activities, changing topography, environmental snag, etc. Also, they begin using the forested areas still available to cross the river streams or from the park to the forested area of the Ramnagar division.

Mostly during the night, the elephants began crossing the roads when the human traffic is comparatively less in the Ramnagar division. Henceforth, the Apex Court took the decision that the elephant corridors which have already been identified should be safeguarded by the staff deployed and ensure the safety of the elephants at the passage, especially during the night from 10 pm to 4 am.

Moreover, the bench also directed the concerned administration as follows:

  • No road or infrastructure construction should be permitted at the corridor or the passage area in order to ensure the safe movement of wild elephants across the roads.
  • The use of chili powder should be prohibited to ensure the safe movement of the elephants in their corridors.
  • Take necessary steps to obtain land in the revenue area to keep up the already existing elephant corridors.

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