Answer from Praveen Bhargav, Trustee, Wildlife First
The Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) has formulated guidelines on Eco-sensitive zones (ESZ) based on orders of the Supreme Court in Writ Petition 460/2004. An area of upto 10 km around all Sanctuaries and National parks is to be notified as an ESZ. The guidelines prescribe that hotels and tourist resorts in such zones will be regulated based on an approved master plan to ensure that movement of wildlife is not restricted. However, this is not being enforced uniformly across States, which could be the reason why restrictions are still not being imposed around Bandhavgarh. Yet another petition is presently being heard by the Supreme Court on stoppage of tourism in Core areas of Tiger Reserves.