The Supreme Court has taken a significant step towards protecting the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary in Assam by issuing notices to the central and Assam governments in response to a plea seeking the declaration of the surrounding area as an eco-sensitive zone. The petition, filed by environmentalist Rohit Choudhury, also calls for removing encroachments in the vicinity of the sanctuary.
A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court, comprising justices BR Gavai, Vikram Nath, and Sanjay Karol, issued the notices and set the returnable date for July 12, 2023. Choudhury’s plea highlights the urgent need for the precise demarcation of the sanctuary’s boundary, which has remained unresolved for twenty-five years despite the notification issued on March 17, 1998.
The petition refers to an exchange of letters between various forest officials and the Deputy Commissioner of Morigaon district, underscoring the importance of promptly demarcating the sanctuary’s boundary. The lack of physical demarcation has raised concerns about encroachments and threatens the fragile ecosystem of the Pobitora wildlife sanctuary.
This move by the Supreme Court brings hope to conservationists and wildlife enthusiasts who have long been advocating for protecting and preserving the rich biodiversity within the sanctuary.