“JLR is not obliged to take the consent of the Center for ecotourism activities in forest areas”
The Karnataka High Court ruled on Tuesday that Jungle Lodges and Resorts (JLR) Ltd., which is controlled by the state government, was not required to obtain authorization from the central government under the provisions of the Forest Conservation Law to start and operate ecotourism activities in forest areas.
A division bench, comprising Chief Justice Ritu Raj Awasthi and Judge Suraj Govindaraj, adopted the order while dismissing a PIL petition filed by PS Mohan and four other residents of Kushalnagar in Kodagu district. The petitioners questioned the establishment of ecotourism activities by JLR in the Dubare forest area in Kushalnagar.
Claiming that the lodges were part of the non-forestry activities, the applicants argued that JLR carried out these activities without the approval of the Union government under section 2 (3) of the 1980 (Conservation) Act. forests.
However, the judiciary noted that authorization, under Article 2 (3) of the Central Government Forest (Conservation) Act, is required to allocate forest area by lease “to any private or to any authority, company, agency or other organization not owned, managed or controlled by the government.
JLR, being an agency controlled by the state government, was not required to obtain central government authorization for non-forestry activities, the bench said. The bench cost the applicants 50,000 for wasting court time.
It was argued on behalf of the state government that the JLR had been established by the Ministries of Forestry and Tourism to promote and provide ecotourism facilities, and that a senior executive from the Indian Forest Service was in charge. JLR Director General positions.