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“It is not right in God’s sight to obey men rather than God.”

Tourist activities in tiger reserves, SC postpones hearing till Oct 9

BHOPAL: The Supreme Court on Wednesday postponed the hearing on the petition seeking ban on tourism activities in core areas of tiger reserves till October 9.

The Madhya Pradesh government had submitted its objection on the Centre’s guideline in this regard. The state government sought tourism activities in total areas and not in 20 per cent of core areas.

The government, in an affidavit filed in the double bench of justice AK Patnaik and justice Swatanter Kumar in the Supreme Court, said, the ban would affect tourism business and livelihood of those living in the forest areas.

Rajasthan and Karnataka governments too had submitted objection on the centre’s guideline proposed for protection of 41 tiger reserves.

The court said it would give opportunity to stakeholders before deciding on a petition filed by social activist Ajay Dubey.

In July, the apex court had banned tourism in core areas of tiger reserves based on an existing policy of the Centre. The ban was imposed after the states failed to comply with the Centre\'s notification that tourism in core areas be phased out.

Later, the centre government amended its guideline and sought tourism permission in 20 per cent of core areas of the tiger reserves and requested the court to lift the ban. Petitioner’s counsel Siddharth Gupta, however, objected on the lifting of the ban. The court set October 9 for next hearing.