NAGAON, Aug 22 � Addressing media persons at Nagaon Circuit House here today, Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain observed that a vested circle has been trying to create misunderstanding among the people about the recent interim order of the Supreme Court banning tourism in the core areas of tiger reserves until further orders. He further said that it was not true that the State Government is not taking any steps on the Supreme Court order which prohibits eco-tourism in Kaziranga and other wildlife sanctuaries in the State.
In this connection, copies of the letter written by Suresh Chand, PCCF (WL) & CWLW, Assam to DIG, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Ministry of Environment and Forest, Government of India, were distributed. Chand informed that the interim direction dated July 24, 2012 of the Supreme Court of India has created widespread concern and misunderstanding among the local communities and other stakeholders in the State.
Also, the guidelines under consideration of the apex court for regulating eco-tourism in tiger reserves and other protected areas need more clarity and flexibility in order to ensure support of local communities as well as other stakeholders without whose support conservation is not possible. Transparent consultation with the State Government as well as other stakeholders is required before taking a final decision in the matter.
The already notified core and buffer areas of tiger reserves in Assam also need to be redefined in the interest of better conservation with community support and the State Government has already announced constitution of a committee for this purpose.
The Government of Assam has requested the NTCA to place the State Government�s views before the Supreme Court at the time of hearing. The Corporate Law Group, New Delhi, the standing counsel of the Government of Assam in the Supreme Court, has been requested to remain present during the hearing and plead in the matter if necessary.
If the Supreme Court permits, the previous affidavit will be withdrawn and a new affidavit will be filed, the minister added.