Tripura High Court: The Division Bench of S.G. Chattopadhyay and Indrajit Mahanty, JJ., took up a PIL which was filed on the basis of press reports that in the Sukhsagar water body of Udaipur, Khilpara, large number of migratory birds of more than 1000 in numbers were found dead. Notices were issued and following the directions of this Court a report had come to be filed by the State wherein the State had taken note of the fact that many migratory birds come and find sanctuary in water bodies in the State of Tripura and they come all the way from Spain, Portugal, South East France, Italy and North Western Africa and have all been listed as “Rare” birds by the European Union, but it seems that the same has been detailed as localized by the State.

The Court from the report also found that by the time the inquiry committee went to visit the local area, they could find no carcasses of the migratory birds which itself was a matter of concern. Important to note that no postmortem either of migratory birds or of local birds found dead has been in fact conducted. Report further indicated that some of the migratory birds were subject matter of target killing ‘Man Animal Conflict’.

The Court was of the view that State should constitute a committee of responsible officers who shall supervise all such wetlands in the State of Tripura and in particular, the farming that is being done in the nearby areas and to try and encourage the local farmers to convert to organic farming as being promoted by the Government of India instead of using pesticides and/or chemicals. This committee should also include scientists and representatives of the Agriculture Department.

The Court directed the committee to inspect all large areas of wetlands in the State of Tripura, ascertain the challenges that need to be addressed and submit a report before the Government for necessary action.[Kawsik Nath v. State of Tripura, 2022 SCC OnLine Tri 106, decided on 22-02-2022]

For Petitioner(s): Mr P. Roy Barman, Sr. Advocate, Mr Samarjit Bhattacharjee, Ms A. Debbarma

For Respondent(s): Mr Debalay Bhattacharjee, G.A., Mr S. Saha

Suchita Shukla, Editorial Assistant has reported this brief.

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