Sensor barriers on NH-37 along KNP

GUWAHATI, Aug 11 – The State Government has informed the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that it would follow the recommendations made by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) for improving the sensor barriers installed by the State in the Kaziranga National Park (KNP)-stretch of the National Highway (NH)-37 for keeping the speed of the vehicles passing through that stretch of the Highway under control in a bid to reduce the number of cases of knocking down or running over of the KNP wild animals by speeding vehicles.

The State Government made the above statement before the NGT on August 9, in connection with the Original Application No 174 of 2013 in the matter of Rohit Choudhury versus Union of India and others on the issue of Kaziranga National Park (KNP)-stretch of the NH-37.

The recommendations of the WII would be followed and improvements in the sensors would be completed by September 30, 2017 positively in consultation with the WII. Thereafter, the State Government would install more sensor barriers particularly in the areas which are known as animal corridors.

This statement was made by State’s Additional Chief Secretary KV Eapen in person before the NGT on August 9.

The NGT accepted the statement made by the Additional Chief Secretary and adjourned the matter to October 10, for further directions. But at the same time, the Tribunal directed the State Government that by that time the process for installation of the other barriers must start. The technological and operational aspects with regard to sensors should be brought to the notice of the Tribunal by filing affidavit and technical data, it said.

It needs mention here that the WII was mandated by the NGT through its order dated January 11, 2017 to monitor the installation of the animal sensor barrier in one animal corridor in the KNP-stretch of the NH-37 as it is a pilot project.

The selected vendor installed the aforesaid animal sensor barrier at Malini in Kanchanjuri-Burapahar Animal Corridor of the National Park. It was operationalised in February, 2017. The WII did preliminary monitoring of this project from March 3 to March 18, 2017 and prepared a preliminary report in May, 2017. It suggested measures along with observations. It also said that replication of the animal sensor barrier in other areas was not desired at this stage until certain technical and functional limitations are adequately addressed.

The WII also said in one of its observations that there is a need to design a more robust and effective sensor system which can serve the purpose for big animals as well as the reptiles and the amphibians.

News Source Assam Tribune

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