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Can't divert traffic from Kaziranga: Assam to NGT (Nov)

 
The Indian Express, New Delhi,1st November, 2013
 
The Assam government has told the National Green Tribunal (NGT) that traffic on a National Highway 37 stretch passing through Kaziranga National Park cannot be restricted as it was the economic lifeline of the state.
 
RTI activist Rohit Choudhury has moved the NGT claiming non-compliance with the environmental clearance conditions set by the ministry of environment and forests on May 31, 1991, to allow Numaligarh Refinery to set up a plant in Golaghat. One of the conditions was denotification of the Jakhalabandha-Bokakhat NH 37 stretch and diversion of traffic passing through the national park.
 
The Assam government, however, said the ministry did not discuss with it the issue of diversion before setting the conditions.
 
In an affidavit submitted to the NGT, it said: "... such condition ought to have been incorporated after discussion with all major stakeholders, including the government of Assam. There are no records available with the state government and the state PWD was not aware of the conditions stipulated in the office memorandum dated May 31, 1991."