SC to hear the appeal of the government of Rajasthan. on the Nahargarh wildlife reserve
The National Green Tribunal ordered the cessation of commercial activities in protected areas
The Supreme Court on Wednesday considered an appeal filed by the government of Rajasthan against an order by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to shut down commercial activities in the notified area of ââthe Nahargarh Fort and Wildlife Sanctuary from December 1.
A judiciary headed by Judge S. Abdul Nazeer notified Rajendra Tiwari, who obtained the order to close the NGT in October. Mr. Tiwari was asked to drop his meter and the court closed the case after eight weeks.
At first glance, the court disagreed with the argument made by lead lawyer Manish Singhvi, appearing for the Rajasthani authorities, that they would tone down the light and sound show at the fort. Mr Singhvi said the government has also been running a restaurant in the area for 30 years. He said business activities were limited to providing refreshments to tourists.
The court questioned the idea of ââhaving a sound and light show in a protected forest area. He said Mr. Singhvi’s claims about the government-run restaurant needed to be investigated. The judiciary also asked about the availability of alcohol in the forest area.
Restaurant in operation
The NGT in October ordered the government of Rajasthan to shut down restaurants operating there, saying non-forestry activities cannot be allowed without the centre’s approval.
The NGT had classified restaurants and sound and light shows as non-forestry activities incompatible with the objectives of the Wildlife Act.
“We order that all restaurants operating in the notified forest area of ââNahargarh 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 collector, Jaipur. The NGT had said.
âWe also order that the sound and light program in the area of ââthe wildlife reserve be suspended as of the said date. However, it is clarified that this will not affect the parking and entry of visitors into the fort / museum. However, the Forestry Department will install noise barriers in the appropriate places to mitigate the impact of noise generated by vehicles, âhe added.
The NGT had also asked the Forestry Department to regulate the number of vehicles and parking spaces.
The Forestry Department may also regulate other activities that may be compatible with the purpose of the Wildlife Law and Forest Conservation Law in Notified Forest and Wildlife Areas, the NGT said while asking the collector. of Jaipur to ensure compliance with its ordinance.