Bengaluru

Despite ban, Jungle Lodges in forest limits serving alcohol?

Entering the Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary — which is spread over 1,027 sq. km in Mandya and Chamarajanagar districts — one is confronted with warning boards prohibiting alcohol as well as the sight of Forest Department officials checking vehicles for liquor bottles.

Ironically, in the plush Jungle Lodges and Resorts, owned by the State government and headed by a forest officer, within the reserve, beer reportedly flows on demand.

With activists complaining about this irony and “violation”, the Forest Department seems to have got their act together. “We have requested JLR not to serve alcohol in their resorts any more. As they said they already had stockpiles of liquor, we have requested them to exhaust this and not purchase more,” said B.P. Ravi, Chief Conservator of Forests (Chamarajanagar).

Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary and the ecosensitive areas of Muthathi, Bheemeshwari, and Sangama remain particularly popular with tourists, students and working professionals from Bengaluru.



With incidents of inebriated visitors swimming in restricted zones of the Cauvery as well as tonnes of glass bottles and plastic lining tourist spots, the district administration and Forest Department had imposed various restrictions and guidelines, including a ban on carrying alcohol inside the sanctuary limits.

JLR runs resorts at Galibore and Bheemeshwari, which are within the CWS limits. “Forest officials strictly enforce alcohol checking and have even closed down liquor stores in villages nearby. But the hypocrisy is that those who can afford to stay in JLR have free flow of alcohol. Even a few days ago, JLR personnel said they can arrange for alcohol during a stay in these resorts,” said a wildlife activist, who had petitioned the Forest Department.

Vijay Sharma, Managing Director, JLR, however, said they had stopped serving alcohol “voluntarily”. “There are many people heading to the Sangam and the department prevents them from carrying alcohol. We decided that we should also stop selling alcohol,” he said.

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Printable version | Apr 9, 2020 5:35:40 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/bangalore/Despite-ban-Jungle-Lodges-in-forest-limits-serving-alcohol/article16721874.ece

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