The authorities woke up after the HC directed the government to take action against the illegally operated hospitality units in the 2km zone from the abode of Asiatic lions. On February 10, the state government submitted a report furnishing names of 128 establishments that are running hotels and resorts and have put up illegal construction. The HC had asked to hear these parties before initiating any action against them.
The owners of these properties moved the HC after receiving the notices seeking clarification on the commercial use of electricity. They have claimed that they are agriculturists and use power for farming purpose, and therefore the electricity company should not cut the power connection.
A bench headed by Justice Jayant Patel said that if they are farmers and use electricity for agriculture purpose, there is no reason for them to worry. The question is only for those who use electricity for commercial activity, including hospitality industry, which is prohibited in this area. The commercial activity is spreading across three districts - Amreli, Junagadh and Gir-Somnath.
The HC directions came during the proceedings of a PIL filed suo motu about the government's proposal of a new eco-tourism zone in the south of Gir wildlife sanctuary. The government has assured that the tourism activities would not affect the wildlife and the footfalls of tourists during day time would not choke the lions' corridor.
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