Vinay Kumar

NEW DELHI: Unhindered commercial activity around the Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand is posing a serious threat to the eco-fragile zone and obstructing movement of animals.

Flashy discos, motorbike racing, loud music, bright lights and lavish weddings in resorts on the periphery of the Park, in gross violation of laws and scant concern for the wildlife, are fast spoiling the peace and tranquillity of the eco-fragile zone.

“There are about 3,200 beds being offered around the Park by 77 resorts and 17 more resorts are under construction. With only 600 people allowed to visit the Park in a day, it is anybody’s guess what others will do,” Sujit Banerji, Secretary, Ministry of Tourism, told journalists here on Monday.

According to a survey, commissioned by the Tourism Ministry last month, about 70 per cent of the resorts around the Park host weddings, 5 per cent have discos blaring loud music and some near Ramganga also encourage motorbike racing.

Almost all the resorts have high boundary walls or fences and some of them are spread over 17 acres. About 70 per cent of them were built on what originally was agricultural land, the survey found.

Permission mandatory

Mr. Banerji said that in a concerted effort between the Ministries of Tourism and Environment and Forests, a mechanism was being worked out to make it mandatory to take permission for any commercial activity around such national parks.