SC to hear on Wednesday plea against NGT order to shut restaurants in Nahargarh wildlife sanctuary
In case of any dispute the boundaries be verified jointly by the Forest Department and Collector Jaipur, the tribunal had said.We also direct that the light and sound programme in the area of wildlife sanctuary be discontinued from the said date.
The Supreme Court Tuesday said it would hear on Wednesday a plea against the National Green Tribunal (NGT) order which had directed the Rajasthan government to shut down all restaurants operating in the notified forest area of Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary/Nahargarh Fort in Jaipur from December 1.
The NGT, in its October 4 order, had also directed that the light and sound programme in the area of the wildlife sanctuary be discontinued from December 1.
The plea, filed by the Department of Archaeology and Museums of the state of Rajasthan and others, against the tribunal's order was mentioned for an urgent listing before a bench comprising Justices U U Lalit, S R Bhat, and Bela M Trivedi.
The counsel appearing for the petitioners told the bench that they were seeking an urgent listing as the NGT has directed the closure of shops, sound, and light sources nearby the Nahargarh Fort and as per the order, they will have to be closed from tomorrow.
"List this matter before the appropriate court going by the roster tomorrow i.e. on December 1," the bench said in its order.
In its order, the NGT had said that restaurants, as well as light and sound programmes, are non-forest activities that are not permissible in forest areas and are also not congenial to the objects of the Wildlife Act. ''Accordingly, we direct that all restaurants operating in the notified forest area of Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary/ Nahargarh Fort be discontinued with effect from December 1, 2021. In case of any dispute the boundaries be verified jointly by the Forest Department and Collector Jaipur,'' the tribunal had said.
''We also direct that the light and sound program in the area of wildlife sanctuary be discontinued from the said date. It is however made clear that this will not affect parking and entry of visitors in the Fort/Museum," it had said.
The NGT had also said that the Forest Department will install noise barriers at appropriate locations to mitigate the impact of noise generated by vehicles.
It had said that the forest department will also regulate the number of vehicles and locations of parking.
The tribunal had passed the order on a plea filed by a Rajasthan native against non-forest activities being carried out in the Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary, including Nahargarh Fort near Jaipur in Rajasthan.
According to the applicant before the NGT, as per judgment of the Supreme Court, no non-forest activities is permissible in forest area, yet non-forest activities have been allowed in the form of restaurants and the excise department has issued license of Bar to the resorts/hotels, cafeterias situated in the Nahargarh Wildlife Sanctuary without prior permission of the forest department.
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