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Updated: April 21, 2010 15:35 IST

States asked to phase out tourism from tiger habitats

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The Hindu
Reports relating to "disturbance of wildlife habitat? on account of tourism infrastructure has been a cause for concern for the Environment Ministry. File photo : Ramki Sreenivasan.

The central government has sent advisories to states asking them to phase out tourism in and around tiger reserves, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said Wednesday.

?Advisories have been issued to tiger range states for regulating tourist visitation in tiger reserves. Further, guidelines have also been issued to phase out tourism activities from the core tiger habitats, while creating buffer in its peripheral areas to mainstream tiger concerns vis?is the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972,? Mr. Ramesh told the Lok Sabha in a written statement.

Earlier this week, after chairing a National Board of Wildlife meeting, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had written to the chief ministers of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Uttarakhand ? the three key tiger?bearing states ? to declare areas around reserves as eco?sensitive zones as required by law.

The environment minister said the ?reports relating to disturbance of wildlife habitat? on account of tourism infrastructure had become a cause for concern.

?The tourism activities around tiger reserves have become new source of tension and threat... action has been initiated for evolving a set of ecotourism guidelines to benefit fringe dwelling local people and relocated villagers, with a view to elicit local public support for tiger conservation,? Mr. Ramesh added.



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