Edited By: Pathikrit Sen Gupta
Last Updated: February 02, 2023, 23:43 IST
The MoEFCC had filed a counter-affidavit in the matter, stating that about 52% of the identified 88 corridors listed in the Gajah Report have been validated and the task of completing validation of the other corridors is in progress. (Representational photo: Reuters)
The court has further suggested that amendments can be introduced to effectuate the conferment of a statutory status on the authority
The Supreme Court has asked the Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change whether Project Elephant should be converted into a statutory agency, as per the recommendation made in the Gajah Report.
A bench led by Chief Justice of India DY Chandrachud posed this question while hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) seeking the court’s intervention in the issue of a large number of unnatural deaths of wild elephants due to electrocution from power lines passing through protected areas and elephant reserves.
The SC accordingly said, “We direct that within four weeks the Ministry shall specifically respond to recommendation made in the ‘Gajah’ report of 2010 on conferring statutory status on the proposed body called National Elephant Conservation Authority.”
The ministry had filed a counter-affidavit in the matter, stating that about 52% of the identified 88 corridors listed in the Gajah Report have been validated and the task of completing validation of the other corridors is in progress.
The court further noted that the MoEFCC had also constituted the Central Project Elephant Monitoring Committee for the purpose of monitoring and implementing relevant directions and guidelines regarding the conservation and protection of elephants,
In this regard, the bench has asked the ministry to submit an updated status report apprising the court of the progress so far.
The government has also informed the SC that the elephant population has reached 29,964 (as per the census 2017), the elephant habitats are being consolidated, and elephant reserve areas have been increased.
Moreover, the government emphasised before the bench that it was deeply committed to protecting the safety of the elephants and continued to take various steps to prevent their death including electrocution.
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Originally published at www.news18.com