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Tourism in Jarawa reserve should be per amended regulations: SC

Last Updated: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 20:35

New Delhi: The Supreme Court has said tourist activity in Jarawa reserves in Andaman and Nicobar Islands would be carried out strictly in compliance with the amended regulations which prohibit tourism in the buffer zone comprising an area upto 5 km radius adjacent and contiguous to the tribal area.

According to the regulations in the notification of January 17, 2013, an area upto 5 km radius adjacent and contiguous to the Jarawa Tribe Reserve area, starting from Constance Bay in South Andaman to Lewis inlet Bay in Middle Andaman has been declared as a buffer zone by the Andaman and Nicobar Administration.

A bench of justices G S Singhvi, H L Gokhale and Ranjana Prakash Desai made it clear that the administration "shall strictly comply with the amended regulations and the orders issued for implementation thereof."

The regulations in the 2013 notification, submitted in the court by the administration, also declare that no person should carry out any activity directly or indirectly which might prejudice the safety and interests of the Jarawa tribe in any of the settlement villages.

The Centre has also said the notification has addressed not only the issue of protection of Jarawas but also the livelihood concerns of the settler population.

The administration also told the bench in an affidavit that the authorities are implementing the court`s January 21 order by which tourists were restrained from using the Andaman Trunk Road connecting Port Blair with Greater Nicobar.

The apex court had only permitted government officials and people living there to use the road and had directed the administration to file an affidavit along with a detailed map indicating the area of Jarawa tribals.

The affidavit submitted by Kuldip Singh Thakur, Deputy Resident Commissioner, Andaman and Nicobar Administration said that instructions have been issued to various authorities to stop movement of tourists on the ATR passing through Jarawa reserve area.

The apex court had on July 3 last year banned all kinds of commercial and tourism activities within a five km radius around the Jarawa Tribal Reserve in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

The administration also said that residents of the area
have been asked to carry their identity cards while travelling in the buses plying on the ATR and tickets would be issued to them only after verufying the identity cards.

It had upheld the notification to declare an area upto five km radius around the tribal reserve as `Buffer Zone` and prohibit entry of any person other than a member of aboriginal tribe into it.


First Published: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 - 20:34

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