Order of the High Court of Uttarakhand regarding management of man-animal conflict in the state, 17/08/2023

  • 17/08/2023

Order of the High Court of Uttarakhand in the matter of Anu Pant Vs State of Uttarakhand Through Principal Secretary Ministry of Environment Forest and Climate dated 17/08/2023.

Abhijay Negi, counsel for the petitioner informed the court that the petitioner, Anu Pant in her supplementary affidavit has highlighted some aspects for further improving the management of man-animal conflict in the state. Attention of the court was drawn to the best practices adopted by Anamalai, Sariska and Dudhwa Tiger Reserves as also to the dashboard prepared by the state of Tamil Nadu, which updates the information with regard to all such incidents. The High Court's attention was also drawn to the website of the Kerala state. These websites are user friendly websites and information is available to the public at large without having to resort to the provisions of the Right to Information Act, the counsel said.

R K Sudhanshu, Secretary, Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change said that the man-animal conflict in Uttarakhand over the past one year has gone down by 61 per cent. He stated that the number of cats - leopards and tigers in the state is far in excess of those in other states. In addition population density of these big cats are much higher than in any other state. As far as far as the Rajaji Tiger Reserve is concerned, he stated that the Tiger Conservation Plan is under preparation, and the same should be ready in about two months’ time for submission to the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change.

The bench comprising Chief Justice of Uttarakhand High Court Vipin Sanghi and Justice Rakesh Thapliyal directed that the state should take steps for updating the status of the 'Conservation of Tiger and Associated Species in the Terai Arc Landscape' which was prepared in the year 2004. The status with regard to the preparation of the Tiger Conservation Plan of Rajaji Tiger Reserve should be indicated in the affidavit to be filed by the state before the next hearing, December 20, 2023.