The Supreme Court on Tuesday directed that there shall be no tourism activity in any of the core zones of tiger reserves across the country.
A bench of justices Swatanter Kumar and Ibrahim Kalifulla also warned of contempt proceedings and imposition of exemplary costs on states, which failed to notify the buffer zones in their respective tiger reserves.”We make it clear that till final directions are issued by this court, the core zones or core areas in the tiger reserves will not be used for tourism,” the bench said in its order.
The apex court was also furious that several states despite its earlier directions of April 4 and July 10 had failed to notify the buffer zones in their respective reserves and warned that if they failed to comply within three weeks the defaulting states shall be saddled with a cost of Rs 50,000 each, recoverable from the Principal Secretary, Forest of the state concerned.
The apex court also imposed a cost of Rs 10,000 each on Andhra Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Bihar, Maharashtra and Jharkhand for not complying with its directions.
However, counsel for Arunachal Pradesh and Jharkhand stated that they were ready with the notification and would file appropriate affidavits during the course of the day.
The court was hearing a PIL filed by conservationist Ajay Dubey demanding removal of commercial tourism activities from core or critical tiger habitats in the tiger reserves.