The Uttarakhand High Court directed the Principal Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, State of Uttarakhand to constitute a committee headed by the Principal Conservator of Forest, who shall nominate the other members of the committee who are directly dealing with situations of man-animal conflict.
The Division Bench of Chief Justice Vipin Sanghi and Justice Ramesh Chandra Khulbe heard a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) raising the issue of man-animal conflict in the State.
It is noted by the Court that on 27.07.2022 directions have been issued by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Uttarakhand with a view to deal with the issue.
“Mere issuance of directives on paper without actual implementation on the ground and regular follow up of compliance of directions so issued, serves no purpose and does not remedy the situation for which the directions are issued”, the Court observed.
Therefore the Court directed the respondents to file a status report with regard to compliance of the directions issued on 27.07.2022.
Looking to the nature and enormity of the problem with regard to the man animal conflict in the State, major portion whereof is covered with forest, the Bench further directed the respondents to constitute an export committee headed by the Principal Chief Conservator of Forest to review and implement the steps required for minimizing such conflict.
The Court was informed that such conflicts are rampant in Ramnagar area, Kotdwar area and other hilly areas. Persons with practical experience in the field should be nominated on the committee so that they can make practical suggestions which can be implemented on the ground.
“The committee shall hold its meetings at least once in two weeks to address the problem of man-animal conflict. The status report to be filed by the respondents should indicate further progress in this regard as well. The petitioner should be informed of the constitution of the committee as soon as it is constituted’, the Court further directed.
THe Court has listed the matter on 17.04.2023 for further hearing.