Tourism ban: SC slams Centre for making U-turn

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New Delhi, Aug 22: The central government found itself in a corner after it sought a review of an order of the Supreme Court banning tourism in core areas of the tiger reserves in the country. A bench comprising Justices AK Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar shot back at the government asking why did it initially recommend a ban on the tourism?

The bench also wanted to know why the Centre had prepared guidelines planning a ban on tourism in the tiger reserves and asked the counsel about steps being taken by the government to protect tigers.

The Ministry of Environment and Forests and National Tiger Conservation Authority said on Tuesday that the state governments had complained that the new order banning tourism in 41 tiger reserve areas would affect people's livelihood.

This came almost after a month after the apex court had banned tourism in the tiger reserves by its interim order. It said the interim order would stay till the government cleared its stand on protecting tigers and notified both the core and buffer areas.

During the hearing, the bench said the Centre did nothing for the endangered tigers' protection and only filed affidavits. It also accused the government of showing more interest in commercial activities. The bench refused to interfere with the ban order and said a further hearing would take place on Aug 29.

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