The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) said that there shall be no tourism within the core area of tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh, according to documents filed in the Madhya Pradesh High Court.
The NTCA direction has been spelt out in an an affidavit filed before a Madhya Pradesh High Court bench headed by Justice KK Lahoti.
The directive effectively back an NGO's demand for a ban on tourists in the core areas of tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh. The NGO has been supported by the union environment and forests ministry.
The authority's reply, in a case related to tiger conservation, was filed Friday after receiving the approval of Environment and Forests Minister Jairam Ramesh.
"We had put three major issues before the court - notification of buffer zone in tiger conservation projects, prohibition of tourism in core areas of reserves, and implementation of tiger conservation plan," Ajay Dubey of Prayatna NGO told IANS.
"The reply of the central government is satisfactory," said Dubey, adding that the state government was allowing tourists access to Kanha National Park's core areas.
Dubey filed a petition against the authority, the central government and the Madhya Pradesh government for the court's direction to them to notify the core and buffer areas in and around the tiger reserves.
The petitioner also sought a direction to ensure that the core areas so notified were maintained as "inviolate" zones.
The court, after having taken serious note of the matter, had directed the authority and the government to file an affidavit as regards the status of core areas in the tiger reserves.