On Friday, the Uttarakhand High Court banned the commercial use of elephants, which include joyrides and jungle safaris, and restrained the wide variety of Gypsys, hired using tourists for the safari in Corbett and Rajaji tiger reserves, to now not greater than one hundred in line with day. It additionally directed the leader flora and fauna warden to take possession of private elephants within 24 hours.
The order comes as a setback to gypsy proprietors. More than 200 motors are currently allowed to go into the covered vicinity every day and to personal lodge proprietors close to Corbett, who organized the elephant safaris. At the same time, environmentalists and flora and fauna activists welcomed the move.
Banning the “industrial use of elephants inside the complete Uttarakhand till similarly orders,” a division bench Justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh directed the leader natural world warden to take over the elephants from the owners by way of issuing them a proper receipt for their scientific examination, treatment, and right preservation.
“The elephants will be quickly stored at Rajaji National Park, Chilla. The injured and maimed elephants shall be attended to via the veterinary doctors within 12 hours,” the HC order stated.
The courtroom directed the leader natural world warden to trouble notices to the elephants’ owners, asking them to explain beneath what law they’re using 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 woodland officials in saving the elephants.
The court docket instructions came in reaction to public interest litigation (PIL) filed with the aid of Mayank Mainali, chairperson of a Ramnagar-primarily based NGO, Himalayan Yuva Gramin Vika Sanstha, in 2012. The petitioner had highlighted the environmental concerns inside the wake of the construction of motels, lodges, and different properties around Corbett Tiger Reserve.
“I am now not in favor of elephant safaris. Management of domesticated elephants is a large problem as they’re not handled nicely. Wherever there’s avenue get entry to, the tourists should take motors,” said Ullhas Karanth, eminent conservationist and wildlife biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Meanwhile, the HC also directed the country government to ensure that now not greater than one hundred motors — private and business Gypsies — can enter the Sitabani, Bijrani, and Dhela zones of Corbett and Kalagarh and Rajaji National Park in a day.
“Only the ones private cars could be authorized to ply to whom valid lets in have been issued by using the RTO and concerned divisional forest officials. The Wildlife Institute, Dehradun, is directed to perform a survey inside three months to assess the carrying capacity of those zones bearing on the wide variety of vehicles that can be accepted to ply to avoid minimum disturbance to the wildlife,” the courtroom stated.
It also directed the leader wildlife warden to list the non-public and industrial Guypsys with their registration numbers, proprietors’ call, and drivers’ call on the authentic website.
“The RTO of the involved vicinity is directed to trouble separate permits for the Corbett Tiger Reserve, Sitabani, Bijrani, Dhela, Kalagarh zones, and Rajaji National Park… No personal automobile shall be authorized to ply,” the order said.
The next hearing within the case has been constant on August 6.
Following the plea from the country’s counsel, the HC allowed the chief secretary to file a supplementary affidavit inside per week on a chain of factors raised by way of the courtroom. The HC on Thursday had directed the chief secretary to record the affidavit within 24 hours.