No night safari at BBP as SC disposes of petition

No night safari at BBP as SC disposes of petition

The Supreme Court recently disposed of a special leave petition (SLP) filed by City-bas­ed advocate B R Deepak, who had challenged the proposed night safari at Bannerghatta Biological Park (BBP), after the State government submitted that it is not a part of the BBP’s master plan.

The proposed night safari is now a thing of the past as a three-judge bench, comprising Justice H L Dattu, Justice M Y Iqbal and Justice S A Borde in late 2014, disposed of the petition in the wake of an affidavit, dated May 17, 2013, which stated that the project will not be implemented following the government’s revised stand.

The government, in a detailed affidavit before the apex court, cited a meeting called by the then Minister for Forest Ecology and Environment, and said: “A meeting was conducted on October 1, 2011 to review the status of the proposed night safari and make an appropriate decision.

It was ascertained to the minister in the meeting that the proposed night safari, not being the part of the Master Plan of BBP, the Central Zoo Authority (CZA) has returned the planned documents of both Master plan for BBP and BBP night safari plan and stayed the construction of night safari works until a comprehensive master plan of BBP is approved.”

The affidavit, filed by the then executive director, BBP, pointed at the man-elephant conflict in the region and expressed apprehensions that the problem might be aggravated, if the safari is permitted.

“If civil and barricading works are executed in the BBP forest area, it would affect the traditional, natural and local movement of wild elephants in the region. The Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden further explained the possible threat of increase in human-elephant conflict and suggested to re-examine the stand of government establishment of night safari,” the affidavit said.

The government also said that in the wake of its revised stand, the SLP should be dismissed. The bench then disposed of the matter.

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