HC directs immediate shifting of rest house outside Pench Park

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Oct 2017 09:05:00


Staff Reporter,

Nagpur bench of Bombay High Court on Wednesday wondered as to why rest house located within Pench National Park could not be relocated and why its use should not be discontinued immediately.

A division bench consisting of Justice Bhushan Dharmadhikari and Justice Arun Upadhye while hearing a petition filed by Nature Conservation Society took serious cognisance of the fact that ample time was given to the authorities to construct alternative rest house outside.

The authoritries sought time till September 2018 to complete the construction of Rest House and filed on record substantial progress made during last few years. The High Court while posting the hearing after two weeks sought reply from authorities as to why such rest house which is in forest can not be discontinued immediately.

It may be recalled that the High Court had directed total shifting of irrigation colony and all residents from Pench National park outside the park. However, the Irrigation Department had sought some relaxation and time to operate the existing inter-state hydro power plan and for construction of colony at Mouza Paoni. The High Court had granted time till 31-12-2016 to shift entire colony outside the Pench National Park area and put the possession of entire land with Forest Department.

Later due to land acquisition problem, the time was extended till September 15, 2017. About rest house of PWD in Belkund in Melghat Sub­division of Amravati Division, the High Court had directed handing over to Forest Department
so that it will ensure its proper maintenance.
The said Rest House is situated in midst of the forest and staff is required to come all the way from Dharni to maintain it.

The residential quarters assigned for the staff, can also be utilized for housing employees of the Forest Department.That will also be a step forward in protecting the forest and the wild life in that area, the High Court had noted while directing to hand over possession of the Belkund Rest House to the Forest Department.
Adv P S Chawahan (Petitioner) Adv Kartik Shukul (Forest Department), AGP N S Rao (State) appeared in the matter.