New Delhi: To curb mushrooming tourist lodges
around wildlife habitats posing threat to tiger population,
Government is preparing a blue-print for promoting eco-tourism
with the involvement of locals, Environment Minister Jairam
Ramesh has said.
"The Ministry is concerned with reports of mushrooming
tourist lodges around tiger reserves such as in the case of
Corbett National Park (UP).
"We are working on detailed guidelines for promoting
eco-tourism, ie, tourism that is ecologically sustainable and
is in line with the carrying capacity of the particular
reserve," Ramesh said in a statement here.
He made it clear that the ministry has no plans to ban
tourism in tiger reserves but wants to ensure that revenues
from the sector flows back for welfare of the local community.
"Tourism is essential and that the revenues from tourism
must flow back directly to the management of each of the tiger
reserves so that local communities can benefit.
"The advantages of tourism should be felt by the local
communities who should be encouraged to develop a stake in the
protection of tiger reserves. This policy of ploughing back is
already in place in most reserves and it will be in place in
all Project Tiger reserves very soon," Ramesh said.
He also said states have been advised against unregulated
tourism, which is as much a threat to tiger population as
poaching and poisoning is.
There are 39 tiger reserve and 663 protected areas across
Four big cats have died in the past two months in Corbett
Tiger Reserve due to poaching and poisoning. 16 tigers have
been killed so far since January this year while 66 died last
year, Forest officials said.