“Elephants Have First Right On Forest,” Says SC While Asking Assam Refinery To Demolish Wall

The Logical Indian Crew Assam

January 22nd, 2019 / 1:31 PM

Image Credit: Wikimedia

In a landmark decision, the Supreme Court on January 18 had asked a public oil refinery in Assam to remove a wall that stood in the way of an elephant corridor in Deopahar Reserve Forest, next to Kaziranga National Park in Golaghat. “Elephants Have First Right On Forest,” Says SC While Asking Assam Refinery To Demolish Wall

State-run fossil fuel facility, Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) built the 2.2 km-long wall in 2011 to expand its operations into the Deopahar forest.

“Elephants have the first right on forest”

The National Green Tribunal (NGT) dragged NRL to court in August 2018. NGT has been trying to demolish the wall since 2016. The wall separates the township from the rest of the forest area. The wall is the reason behind eight elephant deaths. The wall encroaches upon the Reserve forest and the as well as the No-Development Zone, reported LiveLaw.

“Elephants have first right on the forest,” Justice D Y Chandrachud, one of the two judges overseeing the case’s proceedings said. “Elephants do not go to office in a designated route. We cannot encroach upon the elephant’s area,” said the bench.

In 2016, NGT declared “As regards the wall with barbed wire fencing which comes in the way of Elephant Corridor, the same should be demolished. The area, where the wall has come up and the proposed township is to come up is a part of Deopahar PRF. It also falls within the No-Development Zone notification, issued by the MoEF in 1996.”

The NRL filed for a review and said that they were given permission to build a township in the area, but the review was rejected by a bench headed by A.K Goel in 2018. “The wall should be demolished within a period of one month and the proposed township should not come up in the present location,” said NGT then.

They came to a conclusion that both the wall and the proposed township were falling under No-Development zone. Rohit Choudhury, an environment activist from Assam who has been fighting for environmental conservation in the region said “I am extremely happy about what the Supreme Court has said on the matter…a strongly worded statement in favour of wildlife and elephants. I hope the NRL will now fall in line and demolish the wall, after which elephants will be able to walk again in the Deopahar Reserve Forest.”

In 2015, a video went viral which showed an elephant dying of a haemorrhage after it repeatedly banged on the wall with its head, trying to break it. Many times, elephants come to the wall and go back when they cannot cross.  

Also Read: Elephant Population Decline: SC Asks States To Collect Data On ‘Captive’ Elephants


Written by : Poorbita Bagchi

Edited by : Poorbita Bagchi

Related Stories

Sikh Elders Refuse Demolish Mosque

“It’s The House Of God”: Sikh Elders Refuse To Let Anyone Demolish The Mosque In This Ludhiana Village

IOCL Panipat Refinery

NGT Imposes 17.31 Cr Fine On IOCL’s Panipat Refinery, Money To Be Used For Environmental Restoration

Vanthil Mathil

Kerala: Lakhs Of Women Form 620 Km Human Wall For Gender Equality

Rajendra Singh

I Wrote A Letter To PM Asking Why Ganga Has Not Been Cleaned, But No Reply, Says Waterman Rajendra Singh

SC Angry Over UP Govt Allowing Factories To Expand Near Taj Mahal; Threatens To Demolish It If Not Restored

Delhi: Strong Wind Made Metro Wall Collapse On Moving Train, No Injuries Reported

Latest on The Logical Indian


What If Aadhaar, Passport, Driving Licence, Voter Card Could All Be One? Amit Shah Floats Idea


Rajasthan: Dalit Man Beaten To Death For ‘Stealing Water Pump’, Case Registered Against The Accused


After Death Of ‘Blue Girl’, FIFA Orders Iran To Allow Women In Stadiums


Man Carries Wife’s Dead Body For 45 Km On A Cart After Hospital Refuses To Arrange Ambulance


Uttar Pradesh: Father Drowns Twenty-Day Old Twin Daughters As He Could Not Bear Their Expenses


Woman Dies At Hyderabad Metro Station After A Chunk Of Concrete Falls On Her


Stories that deserve attention, delivered to your inbox!

Handpicked, newsworthy stories which deserve the attention of a rational generation.