The administration of eastern Assam’s Golaghat district had set a week’s deadline to Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) to demolish a boundary wall erected on a major elephant corridor.The Supreme Court had on January 18 ordered NRL to remove the 2.2 km wall around its proposed township that included a golf course. The refinery was given a month’s time to comply.In a notice to NRL’s Chief General Manager (Human Resources) on February 14, the district’s Deputy Commissioner said the refinery should demolish the entire wall within seven days and ensure that the land so acquired was kept free of any barrier for facilitating the movement of elephants.The order, the notice pointed out, was in reference to the apex court’s order as well as that of the National Green Tribunal (NGT) in 2016.Environmentalists had objected to the wall the refinery had erected in 2011 in – as the NGT had observed later – a part of the 133.45-hectare Deopahar Reserve Forest which the Assam Forest Department notified a day after the Supreme Court’s order.The refinery received flak from wildlife activists when a seven-year-old male elephant died of haemorrhage in May 2015 after trying to force its way through the wall. Videos also captured herds trying to cross the high boundary wall with barbed wire in vain. In August 2016, the NGT ordered NRL to demolish the wall within a month, but only a 289-metre stretch was demolished.The refinery challenged the NGT order to demolish the entire wall, but the Supreme Court said “there cannot be any township as elephants have the first right on forest”.
Mahela Jayawardene held the key for Sri Lanka after quick wickets pushed them on the backfoot as the visitors looked to put a good challenge before the hosts playing in the ICC World Cup finals at Mumbai’s Wankhede Stadium on Saturday.Mahela’s 103 not out (88 balls) gave the Sri Lankan middle order some stability which helped the team reach a decent total of 274 at the loss of 6 wickets in 50 overs.Batting at number four, Mahela stayed put holding the crease at one end even as other batsmen kept coming and returning to the pavilion. With his silken stroke play and calm presence at the crease, he scored all around the wicket hitting pacers and spinners with ease.Mahela and skipper K. Sangakkara were scoring freely until Yuvraj took the latter’s wicket in the 28th over as Lanka lost their third wicket at 122 runs. The visitors were in trouble when wickets fell in quick succession in the 39th (Samaraweera) and 40th overs (Kapugedera). After 40 overs, Sri Lanka were struggling at 183/5.