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Home / West-bengal / Calcutta HC issues six-week stay on Buxa homestay ban

Calcutta HC issues six-week stay on Buxa homestay ban

Because of high court order, we have got a bit of relief and will hold a meeting on August 5 to discuss our future course of action: Tamal Goswami
Buxa Tiger Reserve.
Buxa Tiger Reserve.
File photo

Our Correspondent   |   Alipurduar   |   Published 31.07.22, 01:30 AM

The Jalpaiguri circuit bench of Calcutta High Court has issued a six-week stay on an order issued by the National Green Tribunal (NGT) to shut all commercial accommodations in the Buxa Tiger Reserve (BTR) area by July 30.

On May 30 this year, the NGT issued the order following a public interest litigation filed by Subhas Datta, a Calcutta-based environmentalist. Datta had mentioned that private resorts and similar accommodations was affecting the biodiversity and natural resources of the place.

The order, however, did not cite anything about homestay accommodations. In Alipurduar district, there are 106 homestays among which around 50 are in the BTR area.

However, on July 5, the deputy field director of the BTR issued a notice mentioning all establishments, including homestays, be closed down by July 30 in the BTR area.

The notice prompted a section of homestay owners in the BTR area to approach Calcutta High Court. On July 26, Durga Adhikary, a homestay owner, and 17 others, filed a writ petition at the Jalpaiguri circuit bench citing that the NGT order does not mention anything about homestays.

“Yet, the BTR authorities have served a notice to all the homestays, saying these accommodations will have to be closed,” said Adhikary.

On Friday (July 29), Justice Moushumi Bhattacharya heard the case and issued a stay for six weeks on the NGT order as well as on the notice of the deputy field director, much to the relief of homestay owners of the district.

“The homestay owners have spent out of their limited means to develop the accommodations in their houses. For most, keeping tourists in homestays is the principal mode of earning. (Because of the stay order) we have got a bit of relief and will hold a meeting on August 5 to discuss our future course of action,” said Tamal Goswami, the coordinator of Alipurduar District Tourism Association.

In the order, the judge has also mentioned that the matter would be heard in four weeks.

Foresters, when contacted, said they will act according to the court’s order.



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