May 11, 2015
PILIBHIT: State forest minister Farid Maifuz Kidwai has said that forest tourism is detrimental to the wildlife. “If it had been under my control I would have wiped out even the existence of Chuka tourist spot from Pilibhit Tiger Reserve,” he said during a press conference at the rifle club on Sunday. He said that jungle tourism causes sound and air pollution as motorized vehicles enter the area. “With the final notification of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve, the Chuka tourist spot should have been strictly prohibited for tourists as it is situated in the core area of PTR, where any sort of activity is not permitted under the existing rules.” Kidwai added that a field director would be posted to PTR within the next six months and that the ministry would focus on the fulfilling infrastructural needs at the PTR as well as the social forestry division. He accepted the failure of his ministry to appoint the required staff at PTR and equip them with arms and ammunition, means of mobility necessary for effective communication.
Retired chief wildlife warden of UP, Mohammad Ahasan, supported Kidwai’s view. He said that the promotion of jungle tourism has not been included in the wildlife protection act. “Presence of humans and vehicles in forest areas not only affects the ecological equilibrium but also has a detrimental effect on the breeding of big cats especially in the mating period. The disturbed state of wildlife might result in the decline in its life span and escalation of its aggression against humans,” he added.