The Uttarakhand High Court on Monday took suo motu cognisance of the denotification of the Shivalik Elephant Reserve and issued notices to both the Central as well as State governments.
The court has given the respondents four weeks to file their counter-affidavits in the matter and has listed the case for further hearing after the winter vacations. The division bench of acting Chief Justice Ravi Malimath and Justice Alok Kumar Verma issued the notice.
Uttarakhand's only elephant reserve -- the Shivalik Elephant Reserve was notified in 2002 through a government order. However, the state government in November 2020 denotified the reserve for the expansion of Dehradun's Jolly Grant Airport.
Over 80 environmentalists wrote a letter to the High Court Chief Justice against denotification of the Shivalik Elephant Reserve, for the purpose of developmental activities, the High Court had issued a notice taking cognizance of this letter.
The Uttarakhand wildlife board has recommended denotification of the Shivalik Elephant Reserve in the state. This decision was taken during the 16th meeting of the board chaired by Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat here on Tuesday on November 24 last year.
In 2002, the then Congress government had notified nearly 5,400 square kilometres of forest land falling under 14 forest divisions as Shivalik Elephant Reserve.
( With inputs from ANI )
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