The Uttarakhand High Court on Friday banned the economic use of elephants, such as for joyrides and jungle safaris, and confined the variety of Gypsys, employed by means of tourists for safari in Corbett and Rajaji tiger reserves, to no longer greater than 100 consistent with day. It additionally directed the leader flora and fauna warden to take possession of personal elephants within 24 hours.
The order comes as setback to gypsy owners, as presently greater than 200 automobiles on a mean are allowed to go into the blanketed vicinity each day, and to personal resort proprietors close to Corbett who organised elephant safaris at the same time as environmentalists and flora and fauna activists welcomed the circulate.
Banning the “commercial use of elephants within the whole Uttarakhand until further orders”, a department bench Justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh directed the leader natural world warden to take over the elephants from the proprietors through issuing them proper receipt for their clinical examination, treatment, and proper protection.
“The elephants will be briefly saved at Rajaji National Park, Chilla. The injured and maimed elephants shall be attended to by means of the veterinary medical doctors within 12 hours,” the HC order stated.
The court directed the chief flora and fauna warden to difficulty notices to the proprietors of the elephants asking them to explain beneath what law they are the use of elephants commercially in breach of the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 and the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960. It also directed the senior superintendents of police of Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar and Pauri districts to render all assistance to the forest officials in saving the elephants.
The court instructions got here in reaction to a public hobby litigation (PIL) filed through Mayank Mainali, chairperson of a Ramnagar-based totally NGO, Himalayan Yuva Gramin Vika Sanstha, in 2012. The petitioner had highlighted the environmental worries within the wake of the development of accommodations, resorts and other houses around Corbett Tiger Reserve.
“I am not in favour of elephant safaris. Management of domesticated elephants is a huge problem as they’re now not dealt with properly. Wherever there’s road get admission to, the travelers should take cars,” said Ullhas Karanth, eminent conservationist and flora and fauna biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Meanwhile, the HC additionally directed the state government to make sure that no longer greater than a hundred vehicles — private and business Gypsys — be allowed to go into the Sitabani, Bijrani and Dhela zones of Corbett and Kalagarh and Rajaji National Park in a day.
“Only those private vehicles could be permitted to ply to whom valid permits have been issued by way of the RTO and worried divisional forest officials. The Wildlife Institute, Dehradun, is directed to perform a survey within three months to assess the carrying capability of those zones touching on the quantity of motors that can be authorized to ply to avoid minimal disturbance to the wildlife,” the courtroom said.
It also directed the leader wildlife warden to submit a list of the personal and business Guypsys with their registration numbers, proprietors’ call and drivers’ call at the official internet site.
“The RTO of the worried region is directed to difficulty separate permits for the Corbett Tiger Reserve, Sitabani, Bijrani, Dhela, Kalagarh zones and Rajaji National Park… No non-public vehicle shall be permitted to ply,” the order stated.
The subsequent listening to within the case has been fixed on August 6.
Following the plea from the suggest performing for country, the HC allowed the leader secretary to record a supplementary affidavit within a week on a chain of factors raised with the aid of the courtroom. The HC on Thursday had directed the chief secretary to report the affidavit within 24 hours.