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Published on : Saturday, September 2, 2017
National Green Tribunal has ordered all the tourist’s accommodations inside the Buxa Tiger Reserve, located in the northern part of West Bengal, India, to shut down immediately, as these accommodations are violating the forest acts and other related laws.
It is another blow to the tourism industry in north Bengal that has been reeling from the strife in the Darjeeling hills.
The eastern bench of the tribunal in Kolkata had directed the closure of all the 89 lodges, out of which 69 are owned by individuals and the rest by the forest department of West Bengal.
It was on a petition by an environmentalist who said the facilities had come up in violation of the forest act and other laws.
A large number of national and international tourists from different parts of the country and the world as well had already booked rooms in different lodges and cottages in the Buxa reserve, due to the upcoming peak seasons from the puja vacations. They want to visit the reserve because of its rich biodiversity and natural beauty.
Biplab Dey, the Vice-President of the Dooars Tourism Development Forum said that several tourists had booked the rooms in the lodges and the cottages of Buxa for puja holidays. But the directives of the tourism board have upset. The clients are calling us to know whether they will get rooms or not. They are in touch with the government to appeal against the directive of National Green Tribunal.
There is another prominent tour operator in northern part of West Bengal said that the order of the green tribunal is yet another blow to the tourism sector in the region.
They had already lost a good number of tourists because of violence and strike in the hills.
Then the blow of tourism came with the floods, because of which railway connectivity of north Bengal and the Northeast with the rest of the country has been disrupted.
The Tourism Minister of West Bengal, Gautam Deb said the government was exploring legal options to get the order set aside.