Friday, July 30, 2010

Details of existing cases filed by Amit Jethwa

Details of existing cases filed by Amit Jethwa.

Dear Nathistory India Members,
I wanted to share with you the details of the cases where we were representing Gir Youth Nature Club. These cases are before the Central Empowered Committee. These cases will go on since they are in the nature of Public Interest Litigation.
IA No. 1243
Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary –a total area of 180 sq km of area declared as sanctuary by notification dated 31st May 2008. The sanctuary provide satellite habitat to Asiatic Lion. Many mining leases are in operation within 5 km radius of the Girnar sanctuary which threatens the existence of biodiversity and wildlife of the Girnar Sanctuary.
Encroachments in the area by religious institution is continuing with the help of politicians and influential people by construction of huge Ashrams. The ashram has been allowed to exists even after there is a clear order for eviction of the same. For last many years the people started procession called 'Girnar Parikrama' wherein people take round of Mount Girnar on foot of about 18-20 kms within the sanctuary area. It takes almost four to five days to complete the parikrama and 8 to 10 lacs people participate in last parikrama. Number of people will increase every year. The stalls are put up in the sanctuary area and people stay in sanctuary for five days. The local authorities do not enforce the rules because of religious issue and this in turn leads to lot of disturbance and damage to wildlife.
Another issue raised in the Application was that in October 2005 it was found that 2.5 km cement road of 10 ft width constructed in Datar Hill of Girnar Wildlife Sanctuary. The Deputy Conservator of Forest was informed of the issue but no action taken. The Range Forest officer booked the case and when he tried to take action against the offender, he was transferred.
This Application was filed in January 2010 by Mr. Amit Jethava before CEC raising all the issues.
IA No. 829
This Application was filed before CEC raising the issue of encroachment in the form of Ashram in Kantala Beat of Tulshishyam Range of Gir East Forest Division. The Ashram is named Hanumangala Ashram has also started encroaching upon the land for expansion and residents of Ashram depend on forest for fuel wood. Nearly five thousand people visit ashram on weekend with their vehicles. The pedestrian road connecting this Ashram with Babarpara village has been upgraded into motorable road. This issue was also raised in 80th report on preservation of Gir forest and protection of wildlife by the Department- Related Parliamentary Standing Committee on Science and Technology, Environment and Forest (2000-2001). In violation of WPA a political function was also organized in the Park, in which Range Forest Office also attended. A complaint u/s 55 c was filed but no action taken.
IA No. 803
This Application pertains to encroachment in survey no. 290 of Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary. This sanctuary is important corridor of Asiatic Lions from Gir to Palitana. Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary is home to 8-10 Asiatic Lions, Spotted Deer, Blue Bull, Leopard Four Horned Antelope etc. this sanctuary was notified on 7.02.2004. the survey no. 290 of this sanctuary is encroached upon for doing farming and other non forest activity. The forest officials were inform about the encroachment but no action taken. The heavy rainfall in the monsoon led to soil erosion due to non forest activity. There is imminent threat to the future of the Mitiyala Wildlife Sanctuary and Asiatic Lion Corridor.
As they say the show must go on…in the same way the cases must go on as a tribute to Amit Jethwa. Any inputs on the cases and issues are welcome. Those who want to see the complete papers may send an email.

Ritwick Dutta and Rahul Choudhary

Legal Initiative for Forest and Environment
LIFE serves as the Secretariat of The Access Initiative (TAI) - India and
EIA Response Centre (eRc)
N-71 LGF Greater Kailash-I
New Delhi-110048
9810044660 www.accessinitiative.org__,_.

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