Centre seeks SC nod for review of guidelines on tiger reserves
New Delhi: Citing concerns expressed by States, the Centre has sought the Supreme Court's permission to review existing guidelines for conservation of tigers in the wake of its order banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves across the country.
The Centre's affidavit virtually urged the apex court to review its July 24 interim order banning tourism in the core areas of the wild cats until final orders.
It claimed that the ban on tourism could result in not only loss of livelihood to several persons but also pose threat to wildlife and forests in the country.
"Representation from some states who own the land and have pointed out that they would like to give input and suggestions in this regard have been received in the context of the interim order issued by the Hon'ble Court to stop tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves," it said.
The States have expressed concern that many local people depend on tourism for their livelihood and hence stoppage of tourism in core areas of tiger reserves would result in loss of such income leading to discontent which may be a threat to wildlife and forests, it contended.
"Besides, the common citizen would be deprived of an opportunity to appreciate our natural heritage. Further concerns have been expressed from various quarters on the process adopted by States in notifying the buffer areas of tiger reserves," the Centre said.
The additional affidavit jointly filed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority and the Ministry of Environment and Forests said the earlier guidelines framed by it on the basis of which the apex court had passed the interim ban orders needs to be reviewed.
"The guidelines submitted in the context of ecotourism in and around protected areas require further review based on more consultations with all stakeholders, including State Governments and representatives of local, indigenous communities," the Centre said.