Order of the National Green Tribunal regarding protection of desert ecology, Jaisalmer, Rajasthan, 03/02/2023
Order of the National Green Tribunal in the matter of Tapeshwar Singh Bhati Vs State of Rajasthan through the Principal Secretary, Tourism dated 03/02/2023.
Grievance in the application was against apprehended damage to the environment by proposed activities during ‘Maru Mahotsav 2023’ at Jaisalmer from February 2 to 5, 2023.
The report of the District Magistrate, Jaisalmer informed the court that the cultural evenings have been shifted to Shahid Poonam Singh Stadium in Jaisalmer city and no program with light, sound and firecrackers was being held in Khuhdi and Sam sand dunes by the Tourism Department and District Administration on any of the festival dates.
The NGT was of the view that no intervention was necessary at this stage as far as activities of Maru Mahotsav 2023 are concerned.
The court was of the view that the area has serious challenges of environmental protection and conservation due to unregulated tourism activities.
"Sustainable development requires study to balance economic activity with need to preserve ecologically fragile and sensitive areas for protection of inter-generational equity," said the bench of Justice Adarsh Kumar Goel and Justice Sudhir Agarwal, February 3, 2023.
The National Green Tribunal directed the constitution of a ten member joint committee for submission of a study on how to protect the desert ecology in Jaisalmer.
The court noted that the area faces serious challenges of environmental protection and conservation due to unregulated tourism activities. There are about 130 hotels and other such establishments. 1000 camel safaris and 4000 jeep safaris are held per day during the season. Adventurous activities like paragliding, paramotoring and parasailing also take place. Large number of activities are unregulated and operators lack requisite skills and training. Sanitation and hygiene issues also remain. Regulation and monitoring is inadequate.