Conservationist organization Green Planet Society has raised serious cognisance over tourist resorts that are coming up in the buffer area of the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. The organization has even lodged a complaint with the TATR authorities and the MoEF over the new tourist resort being set up very close to the core area.
"A major hotel group from Nagpur has acquired 22 acres of land close to Moharli village on the periphery of TATR core zone. Trees have been chopped and land has been cleared. Around 10 borewells have been dug and construction of rooms has been initiated. The shocking fact is that the place is located mere 100 feet from the core zone and had a movement of tiger in it," alleged president, Green Planet Society, Suresh Chopne. He claimed that they have found tiger faeces on the land acquired for the resort.
Chopne informed that there are clear directives of NTCA about not allowing any new resort in two km periphery of core zone in buffer area of tiger reserve. Any commercial construction close to tiger reserve needs approval from revenue department, which is based on the say of forest authorities. "Still some resorts have come up around core zone of tiger reserve despite buffer area was notified around TATR last year. Some of these resorts illegally cater meat and liquor to their customers, which is perilous for wildlife in the area," he said. He held that rising number of resorts in buffer area of TATR is threat to the wildlife and the environment. Hence no further approval should be given to any new resort in buffer area, Chopne demanded. He even threatened to go to the court of law, if situation demands.
Field director and CCF, TATR, VK Sinha ratified that the owner of the particular land has initiated construction of rooms. "Our RFO has visited the site and advised the owner of the land to verity whether any such construction fits under the norms of buffer zone with forest authorities and until then refrain from further construction. As per regulation, SDO provides the permission for non-agriculture use of land in such areas, but only after seeking say of forest department. Unless they have clearance of forest authorities, no commercial construction could be allowed in the buffer area," he said.
He informed that provisions of sanctuary are applicable to the buffer area. As per provision, forest department has authority to restrict any development which may affect safety and movement of wildlife, conservation of sanctuary and development of habitat. "Stress is laid on the community-based tourism in buffer area. If the case does not fit under the norms, we have all the authority to deny the permission," he said.