Businessmen Oppose Rajasthan HC's Order to Stay Construction around Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary

Reported by

Kuber Bathla

Legal Data by

Anmol Gupta, Mukta Joshi

Edited by

Moushumi Sharma

Updated by

Published on

March 24, 2022

March 24, 2022

Updated on

March 24, 2022

Location of Conflict

Kumbhalgarh

Rajsamand

Reason or Cause of Conflict

Protected Areas

(

Eco-Sensitive Zone

)

People Affected by Conflict

Households Affected by Conflict

Land Area Affected (in Hectares)

ha

Starting Year

2022

State

Rajasthan

Sector

Conservation and Forestry

According to a 2015 order by the Department of Forest, Government of Rajasthan, construction activities within one kilometre around eco-sensitive zones (ESZs) are prohibited. One such ESZ is the Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary, which can potentially become a tiger reserve. The 2015 order restricted both commercial and residential constructions in the area, with a caveat that residential buildings having up to 20 rooms could operate as hotels.

In January 2022, Advocate Rituraj Singh Rathore submitted a petition in the Rajasthan High Court that numerous illegal constructions have come up in the region in violation of the 2015 order and, therefore, must be stopped. “Eight to 12 construction activities have already been stopped by the Department of Forest, and this court order should help prevent others too. The area under forest has been declining due to such illegal activities,” he told LCW.

The court took note of the order and stayed all construction activities in the area on January 18, 2022. However, business owners have opposed the decision.

One such business owner, on the condition of anonymity, told LCW that environment conservation and development should go hand-in-hand. He referred to the [ESZ guidelines from 2017](http://moef.gov.in/wp-content/uploads/2017/06/1 Guidelines for Eco-Sensitive Zones around Protected Areas.pdf) by the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change and pointed out that such guidelines permit the establishment of hotels and resorts with appropriate regulations. “Development should not be stopped but rather regulated in such regions. Tourism will only help the local economy, and this blanket ban does not consider construction activities that are vital,” he told LCW.

Harsh Vardhan, secretary and founder of the Tourism and Wildlife Society of India, shared a similar sentiment. He told LCW that all stakeholders were not consulted before the issuance of this blanket ban. “The court order is not clear about what kind of construction activities must be banned, and as a result the business owners face losses, especially ones that do not cause any harm to the environment. Conservation programmes should be people-friendly,” he said.
 
LCW reached out to Gayatri Rathore, principal secretary tourism and chairperson of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, and Shreya Guha, principal secretary, Department of Forest, via email but did not get any response.

On March 16, 2022, the Rajasthan high court upheld the 2015 notification passed by the forest department, prohibiting all construction activity in the protected area. The court also directed that commercial tourism activity shall not be permitted in residential premises, except those sanctioned as per law.

Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

No items found.

Other Demand/Contention of the Affected Community

Opposition to restriction on construction activities in ESZ

Region Classification

Urban and Rural

Type of Land

Common and Private

Type of Common Land

Forest

Total investment involved (in Crores):

Type of investment:

Year of Estimation

Page Number In Investment Document:

Has the Conflict Ended?

No

When did it end?

Why did the conflict end?

Categories of Legislations Involved in the Conflict

Legislations/Policies Involved

Guidelines for Declaration of Eco-Sensitive Zones around National Parks and Wildlife Sanctuaries dated 2011
Annexure 1, Serial no. 5 [Hotels and resorts as approved by the Master Plan to be regulated in Eco-Sensitive Zones]
Prohibition of all commercial and industrial activities in a periphery of one kilometre from the protected boundaries of forest, which includes Kumbhalgarh Wildlife Sanctuary.
  1. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  2. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  3. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  4. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  5. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  6. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

  7. Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

    Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Suspendisse varius enim in eros elementum tristique. Duis cursus, mi quis viverra ornare, eros dolor interdum nulla, ut commodo diam libero vitae erat. Aenean faucibus nibh et justo cursus id rutrum lorem imperdiet. Nunc ut sem vitae risus tristique posuere.

Whether claims/objections were made as per procedure in the relevant statute

What was the claim(s)/objection(s) raised by the community?

What was the Decision of the Concerned Government Department?

Legal Processes and Loopholes Enabling the Conflict:

Non-consultation with stakeholders

Legal Status:

In Court

Status of Case In Court

Disposed

Whether any adjudicatory body was approached

No

Name of the adjudicatory body

Name(s) of the Court(s)

High Court of Rajasthan, Jodhpur Bench

Case Number

CW/10096/2021

Main Reasoning/Decision of court

On March 16, 2022, the high court directed that a Monitoring Committee with the District Collector and DFO and persons from the civil society be formed to monitor the environmental issues in Kumbhalgarh area. As per the 2015 notification, all new construction activity would be stayed and unauthorised commercial activities within one kilometre from the protected boundaries would be removed by the Monitoring Committee. The issue of construction of a pathway from Gomthada to Goram Temple and Gomthada to Goram Ghat had been raised in earlier hearings. The court directed that the construction would be permitted. The court also directed that commercial tourism activity shall not be permitted in the residential premises except those sanctioned as per law. No commercial activities will be allowed on the lands recorded as forest areas, except with the consent of the forest officials in accordance with the Forest Conservation Act, 1980. Further, the Rajasthan Tourism Guest House Scheme, 2020, would not be applicable in the area as Kumbalgarh is not a municipal area and the scheme only applies to municipal areas.

Major Human Rights Violations Related to the Conflict:

No items found.

Whether criminal law was used against protestors:

Reported Details of the Violation:

Date of Violation

Location of Violation

Nature of Protest

Objections as part of official procedures

Advocacy (for inclusion in courts)

Government Departments Involved in the Conflict:

Principal secretary, Department of Tourism; district collector, Rajsamand; district collector, Pali; Department of Forest

PSUs Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Government Authorities for Comments?

LCW reached out to Gayatri Rathore, principal secretary tourism and chairperson of the Rajasthan Tourism Development Corporation, and Shreya Guha, principal secretary, department of forest, via phone call but did not get any response.

Name, Designation and Comment of the Government Authorities Approached

Corporate Parties Involved in the Conflict:

Did LCW Approach Corporate Parties for Comments?

Communities/Local Organisations in the Conflict:

Business owners

Resources Related to Conflict

  • News Articles Related to the Conflict:
  • Documents Related to the Conflict:
  • Links Related to the Conflict:

Image Credit:  

Image Credit:  

Documented By

Text Link

Reviewed By

Text Link

Updated By

Text Link

Edited By

Text LinkLand Conflict Watch
X

Support our work

Your contribution ensures continuity of this crucial project.

As a member, you will get exclusive access to special reports, policy papers and research projects undertaken by Land Conflict Watch and behind-the-scenes interactions with the writers and researchers about their work.
Join Now