SC agrees to hear appeal against NGT order


When issuing a plea notice, the Supreme Court asked counsel for the appellants to stop the sound and light program in the region.

“How are you wronged? Why do you allow non-forestry activities there, ”a bench of Judges S Abdul Nazeer and Krishna Murari told senior counsel Manish Singhvi, who was appearing for the appellants – Department of Archeology and Museum et al.

Singhvi told the bench that tourists visit the historic monument and that there is an RTDC restaurant that has been operating for 30 years. He said that without any restaurant, tourists will have nothing to cool off there.

“We will hear that,” the bench said, adding: “You stop the sound and light program.”

The highest court found that there had been no demolition order in the area.

“What are you doing with that alcohol business over there,” observed the bench during the hearing.

The highest court issued an opinion and requested answers from the plaintiff, on whose request the NGT had made the order in the case, and others. He posted the case for hearing after eight weeks.

The NGT, in its order of October 4, also ordered that the sound and light program in the area of ​​the wildlife reserve be suspended from December 1.

In its appeal, filed with the Supreme Court through attorney DK Devesh, the department and others said that Nahargarh Fort is located about 15 km from Jaipur city, at the end of the forest area. He said that in general, the number of tourists to Nahargarh Fort in a year is around 7.14 lakh.

“In such a situation, the shortage of basic food and grocery facilities for tourists will occur,” he said.

The plea stated that after about two years tourists resumed visiting Jaipur in large numbers and that the lack of any refreshment service would cause them great inconvenience.

“The sound and light show takes place from the ‘Kesar Kyari’ of the Amer Fort and it is not only an attraction for local and foreign tourists, but it accurately and effectively presents the history of Amer and Rajasthan. and educational facts. By its closure, tourists will be deprived of these attractive and educational activities, ”he said.

In its ordinance, the NGT stated that restaurants, as well as light and sound programs, are non-forest activities that are not allowed in forest areas, nor do they comply with the objectives of the Wildlife Law.

“Accordingly, we order that all restaurants operating in the notified forest area of ​​Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary / Nahargarh Fort be discontinued with effect from December 1, 2021. In the event of a dispute, the boundaries should be verified jointly by the Forestry Department and the Jaipur collector, “the court said.

“We also order that the sound and light program in the area of ​​the wildlife reserve be interrupted from the said date. It is however specified that this will not affect the parking and entry of visitors into the fort / museum”, he had declared.

The NGT had also said that the Forestry Department would install noise walls in appropriate places to mitigate the impact of noise generated by vehicles. He said the forestry department will also regulate the number of vehicles and parking spaces.

The court had issued the order on a plea filed by a native of Rajasthan against non-forestry activities carried out at the Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary, including the Nahargarh Fort near Jaipur in Rajasthan.

According to the applicant before the NGT, in accordance with the Supreme Court ruling, no non-forestry activities are allowed in the forest area, yet non-forestry activities have been authorized in the form of restaurants and the excise service has issued a Bar license to resorts / hotels, cafeterias located in Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary without prior permission from the Forestry Department.

With PTI inputs.


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