On Friday, the Uttarakhand High Court banned the commercial use of elephants, together with for joyrides and jungle safaris, and restricted the range of Gypsys, hired by way of travelers for a safari in Corbett and Rajaji tiger reserves, to no longer more 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 a setback to gypsy proprietors, as presently extra than two hundred vehicles on a median are allowed to go into the included vicinity every day and to non-public motel owners close to Corbett who organized elephant safaris. At the same time, environmentalists and wildlife activists welcomed the flow.
Banning the “business use of elephants inside the entire Uttarakhand till in addition orders,” a division bench Justices Rajiv Sharma and Lok Pal Singh directed the chief wildlife warden to take over the elephants from the owners by issuing them the proper receipt for his or her medical examination, remedy, and proper renovation.
“The elephants shall be briefly kept at Rajaji National Park, Chilla. The injured and maimed elephants will be attended to by using the veterinary docs within 12 hours,” the HC order said.
The courtroom directed the leader wildlife warden to trouble notices to the owners of the elephants asking them to explain beneath what regulation they are the usage 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 Nainital, Udham Singh Nagar, Haridwar, and Pauri districts to help the forest officers save the elephants.
The court guidelines got here in response to public interest litigation (PIL) filed with the aid of Mayank Mainali, chairperson of a Ramnagar-based totally NGO, Himalayan Yuva Gramin Vika Sanstha, in 2012. The petitioner had highlighted the environmental concerns within the wake of the construction of motels, motels, and different properties around Corbett Tiger Reserve.
“I am no longer in favor of elephant safaris. Management of domesticated elephants is a massive hassle as they’re now not treated properly. Wherever there’s road get entry to, the vacationers need to take vehicles,” said Ullhas Karanth, eminent conservationist and flora and fauna biologist with the Wildlife Conservation Society.
Meanwhile, the HC also directed the state government to make certain that no extra than 100 motors — non-public and commercial Gypsies — would be allowed to go into the Sitabani, Bijrani, and Dhela zones of Corbett and Kalagarh and Rajaji National Park in an afternoon.
“Only those non-public vehicles could be authorized to ply to whom valid permits have been issued through the RTO and concerned divisional woodland officials. The Wildlife Institute, Dehradun, is directed to survey within three months to assess the sporting capability of these zones bearing on the number of cars that may be approved to ply to keep away from minimum disturbance to flora and fauna,” the court stated.
It additionally directed the chief natural world warden to post a list of the private and commercial Guypsys with their registration numbers, owners’ calls, and drivers’ names at the legitimate internet site.
“The RTO of the involved area is directed to issue separate allows for the Corbett Tiger Reserve, Sitabani, Bijrani, Dhela, Kalagarh zones, and Rajaji National Park… No private automobile shall be accredited to ply,” the order stated.
The next hearing within the case has been constant on August 6.
Following the plea from the suggested actions for the nation, the HC allowed the leader secretary to report a supplementary affidavit inside per week on a series of points raised with the aid of the courtroom. The HC on Thursday had directed the chief secretary to document the affidavit within 24 hours.