I was very disturbed by this "giving away" of Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary as written by me earlier in this forum.
In April 2009, I served a legal notice to the Karnataka Forest department, Karnataka Government and to Centre (MoEF), under section 55 of the Wildlife Protection Act, through an Advocate practising in the Hon'ble Supreme Court of India.
The Chief Wildlife Warden of Karnataka has replied to me now (others haven't replied yet).
I have enclosed a scanned copy of the reply (2 pags). Please read both the pages. It is very shocking to see the views of a Chief Wildife Warden especially for activities that has been permitted in a critical elephant habitat (Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary):
- in Para 3, he has said no fire is being kindled. But the bush betta resort (they call it an angling camp) lights bon-fire every night
- in para 3, he has said no construction of commercial lodge has been allowed inside the sanctuary. He is bluffing blatantly.
(Please see these web links. What is this then? A charity camp??!!)
The Chief Wildlife Warden believes that this Fishing camp with accommodation etc is NOT a commercial tourism lodge !!!
Please see the above websites for pictures of the actual accommodation. Can we allow such "camps" in Nagarhole and Bandipur??
In Para 7 he says no permission has been given to expolit or disturb wildlife. What is angling then? Is it not disturbing and is it not exploitation? What conservation purpose does it serve? Please see the above website that clearly shows that the aquatic fish are being angled, baited, trapped and injured. We do not know if they are alive when they are released back in the river. They may die much later after the release due to the nature of injuries.
Para 8 is the Killer. The chief wildlife warden says that "Manual angling of fish, catching and releasing DOES NOT amount to Fishing" !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! He further goes on to say that it creates "Intimacy and Awareness"!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
So, can people go inside the park and catch animals and release them to build intimacy and awareness?? How about catching deer, birds, etc for intimacy? How can any such thing be allowed inside a protected area?
If you read the two pages, you will notice that the Chief Wildlife Warden is in full support of a tourism lodge that has been built (doesn't matter if it is temporary or permanent) inside a Protected area (against the Wildlife Protection Act). He has also taken lots of pain to defend "exploitation of wildlife inside the park which serves no purpose or no good for wildlife conservation"
It is only a question of time before we have such camps coming inside other National Parks and Sanctuaries in Karnataka.
I have now approached the CEC in New Delhi and filed a complaint.