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Corbett fails to provide RTI, served notice (Oct)

Pioneer, Delhi, 15th October, 2013

The Uttarakhand Information Commission (UIC) has served a show cause notice to the Corbett tiger reserve deputy director/public information officer to explain the alleged failure to provide timely and correct information under the Right to Information Act(RTI).

According to the applicant, People for Animals, Uttarakhand member secretary Gauri Maulekhi, a parallel tourism of private captive elephants, operated from the Durga Devi gate of Corbett was exposed by PFA.

She alleged that illegal permits have been issued to elephant owners to enter the national park for safaris which were discovered by the organisation.When asked for details regarding the permits, the Corbett authorities provided false and misleading information, she averred.

The Uttarakhand Information Commissioner   has now slapped a show cause notice on the Corbett PIO seeking written explanation failing which he may be fined under Section 20 (1) of the RTI Act.

 Maulekhi States, “The captive elephants that are kept by private resorts on the periphery of Corbett have been regularly given permits to enter even though the same have been disallowed by the order of the Chief Wildlife Warden. Permission, however, was granted to an elephant owned by a resort owner at Jamoon. All other elephants were issued permits in the name of this one elephant but ridiculously, the names of the mahout and the keeper of the elephant is different in all permits issued, proving that it was a different elephant each time.

All permits bear the signatures of the previous Corbett field director Ranjan Mishra,” she said, that the elephants that are given permits are not vaccinated and carry a huge worm-load which raises the risk of diseases spreading to the wild pachyderms living in the jungles.