August 9, 2010 3:50:49 am
The Union Environment and Forests Ministry has asked Madhya Pradesh to immediately withdraw its order,allowing tourists to patrol tiger reserves.
In a letter to Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan,Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said he was shocked by the order. This goes against the spirit of the Wildlife Protection Act. Poachers in the garb of tourists may find out about sensitive routes, Ramesh said in the letter. Pointing to the death a tigress that was run over by a tourist in Bandhavgarh recently,Ramesh emphasised that field patrolling is a specialised job.
MP had passed an order,stating that for a fee tourists should be allowed to walk and patrol in tiger reserves. Up to four tourists above the age of 14 can be part of one patrolling party. This despite a 2006 amendment to the Wildlife Protection Act stating that core areas within tiger reserves have to be left inviolate.
Stopping short of calling the order illegal,Ramesh said it was against the SCs order banning concretisation within tiger reserves.
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