New Delhi: The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to lift ban on tourism in core areas of tiger reserves, for now. The apex court said that it will wait for the new guidelines to be framed by the National Tiger Conservation, until which the ban on tourism would continue.
In an affidavit filed last month end the Central government had urged the apex court to lift the interim ban imposed on July 24 on all tourist activities in the core areas of areas of tiger reserves.
The court has fixed October 16 as the next date for hearing in the case.
The Centre in it affidavit had stated that a maximum of 20 percent of the core/ critical tiger habitat usage (not exceeding the present usage) may be permitted for regulated, low-impact tourist visitation. The guidelines said permanent tourist facilities located inside core/critical tiger habitats, which are being used for wildlife tourism should be phased out as per a time frame.
Among other measures, the guidelines said that visitors should be kept at a distance of at least 20 m from all forms of wildlife and luring/feeding any wildlife should be strictly prohibited.
Under the existing guidelines and rules of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972, the states have to notify the list of core and buffer areas of tiger reserves in their respective jurisdictions.