National Green Tribunal (NGT), after hearing on a PIL (Public Interest Litigation) filed by an environmentalist, has declared all commercial activity (restaurant, hotel, bar etc.) in Nahargarh Fort located in Nahargarh Sanctuary of Jaipur illegal. The NGT notified the forest department to stop the operation of all business activities at the fort, considering them as non-forestry activities.
The NGT criticized the Archaeological Department and RTDC stating that they have no right to conduct commercial activities in the sanctuary. NGT instructed both the departments to immediately stop these activities and get the fort vacated. Along with this, the NGT has directed the Forest Department to intervene on the fort and develop sanctuary conservation and ecotourism.
According to environmentalist Rajendra Tiwari, “He had listed the PIL on January 18 this year. Many business activities were running in the forest area, including serving liquor and construction of a parking lot, at the fort. The fort is owned by the archaeology department and business activities are being run by the RTDC.”
The NGT paid attention to the increase in the movement of people and night tourism activities in the area. A six-member Constitutional Bench of the NGT was set up to hear on a PIL. The high-level committee was asked to investigate the matter and verify the claims. After investigation, all the activities going on in Nahargarh are said to be non-forest activities.
As per the report, “Tourists arriving at Nahargarh were violating forest norms and visiting the reserve forest after sunset and during the night. Moreover, trees were also cut up without consent to develop a parking space.”
Restaurant and bar operated by RTDC
Presently there is a restaurant and beer bar outside Nahargarh Fort named Padhao, run by RTDC. Apart from this, another restaurant is operating inside the fort, which has been given on lease to a private firm by the Department of Archeology. Moreover, a light show is also conducted here. Nahargarh Forest was announced as a reserved area in 1961, based on which the Forest Department was given the right to control it.