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Thursday, 1 August 2013

High Court Reserves PIL against tourism in Tiger Reserve in Tirunvelveli

Madurai:  The Madras High Court bench has reserved order on Public Interest Litigation,
and has challenged the Centre’s notification for allowing activities related to toruism at Kalakkad Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve in Tirunvelveli in Tamilnadu. 
The area is very sensitive related to tiger population and the petitioner, an NGO has argued that allowing tourism activities is going to bring adverse impact over the tiger population and the campaign of Project Tiger would lost its meaning, a scheme which was implemented by the Union Ministry of Environment and Forests since 1973, ensuring a scientific growth of population in the country, economical, cultural and ecological values.

Lajapathi Roy, counsel for the petitioner, S Ramesh, Managing Trustee of SWASAM Trust, said the Centre had issued a notification on October 15, 2012 laying down guidelines for tourism activities around the tiger reserve. 

Later, in February 18, 2013 the government again issued a notification allowing carrying on tourism related activities including a boat ride over Karaiyar Dam, driving upto Kodayar area, the important area of the tiger reserve.
Assistant Solicitor General (ASG) K K Senthilvelan opposed the petition challenging that the centre issues all the notification and allowed the tourism activities as per the Granite Conservation and Protection Rules, 1999.
The petitioner, a member of a Local Advisory Committee for Kalakkad-Mundanthurai Tiger Reserve, said allowing tourism activities as well as vehicle would disturb the ecological balance and the worst affected would be the breeding of tigers, which is seen very much successful in this reserve.

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