Karnataka High Court seeks data on vehicles allotted to guests

A division bench issued the direction after hearing a petition filed in 2022 by private resorts, alleging that guests of private resorts were repeatedly allotted seats only in Canters.
Karnataka High Court
Karnataka High CourtPhoto | Express

BENGALURU: The Karnataka High Court on Monday directed Jungle Lodges and Resorts Limited (JLRL) to provide data on the manner of allotment of vehicles for safari, for guests staying in its resorts and also those who stay in private resorts in Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks and Tiger Reserves.

A division bench of Chief Justice N V Anjaria and Justice K V Aravind issued the direction after hearing a petition filed in 2022 by private resorts, alleging that guests of private resorts were repeatedly allotted seats only in Canters, which are noisy and dilapidated, and state government-owned JLRL guests are almost always allotted jeeps for the safari, which offer more comfort.

The petitioners -- Karnataka Eco-Tourism Resorts’ Association and private resorts outside Nagarahole and Bandipur National Parks and Tiger Reserves -- approached the High Court against alleged discrimination in allotment of safari vehicles, and issuing new safari permits to new resorts in violation of government and court orders.

Seeking direction for fair allotment of safari vehicles and non-expansion of existing facilities, the petitioners alleged discrimination in the allocation of vehicles to their guests. Routes that fell in zones where there were good sightings of wildlife would be repeatedly allotted to vehicles of JLRL, and guests of private resorts would almost always be away from the sighting zones.

JLRL is deliberately depriving guests of private resorts of the real experience of national parks. A tripartite agreement was entered into to avoid discrimination but has not been followed by JLRL, the petitioners alleged.

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