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India Holiday News


Tiger reserves to get buffer zones soon
1st April 2010
BANGALORE: After long four years, buffer zones in tiger reserves of Karnataka will soon become a reality.  According to the forest department a 300 sqkm buffer around Bandipur and a 400 sqkm buffer around Anshi-Dandeli reserves have got in-principle approval from the Centre. 

The notification of buffer zones is very significant as it will lead to protection of the reserves from intensive projects like mining.  "Those which got in-principle approval will be notified in a month or so. In Nagarahole, we're facing some problems and the buffer zone may take some more time to be determined. This notification will not just have a bearing on people living in the zone, but have a major impact on human-animal conflict. If a tiger strays, it will not hit the boundary straightaway," principle chief conservator of forests, said B K Singh. 

WHAT'S A BUFFER ZONE? 

A buffer is like a thin layer of protection on all sides of the reserve. It is not inviolate like core area and human habitation won't be relocated. Those living in this zone will be given alternative livelihood options to reduce dependence on core forest produce. "These zones will be protected from major changes in land use. Unlike the core area, which is exclusive, the buffer zone will be inclusive but importance will be given to protection of wildlife," National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), member secretary, Rajesh Gopal said. 
Many states like Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh, which record a large number of tiger deaths, still haven't notified buffer zones. 

ON THE ANVIL 

Total area of Bandipur tiger reserve is 950 sqkm; additional 300 sqkm being added on Karnataka side as buffer zone 

Total area of Anshi-Dandeli tiger reserve is 800 sqkm; additional 400 sqkm being added as buffer area 
Nagarahole buffer zone yet to be determined; notification for Bhadra tiger reserve with Centre 
No large, intensive development projects allowed in zone 
" Travel Weekly "



Kashmir tourism expects good season
29th March 2010

Kashmir's tourism industry is expected to witness a boom, as many tourists have begun to arrive in the Valley. In Srinagar, domestic and foreign tourists are enjoying their time in traditional Shikaras, a gondola-type of boat common to Kashmir.

Houseboat owners are busy mending and beautifying their houseboats ahead of summer, which is when lots of tourists arrive. Almost all houseboat owners are ready to welcome the tourists on their boats that have been carpeted and embellished at par with star-rated hotels. There is also a rush of tourists at the historical Mughal Gardens of the city-the Nishat and Shalimar Gardens. First timers are delighted and have no hesitation in describing Kashmir as a 'Paradise on Earth.'

"I came here with my friends and their families...Kashmir is really a nice place to visit, I have been to several places in India...I had visited many regions in India right from the north-eastern, to southern and central India but we find Kashmir as unique...we find it (Kashmir) more attractive and that is what we witnessed in pictures," said A.S Dutta, a West Bengal-based tourist.

Foreign tourist Russel said: "I find it a very interesting place, the place is really beautiful, the people are really nice, they are very polite and helpful. Currently, we are at the garden. I visited so many places but this is the best one I have ever seen."

Houseboat owners are expecting a profitable business season. "The start of the season is good. The booking is totally packed. I feel that if things will remain unchanged that after 10-15 days you will not find any room in houseboats...I thank God for the good start but I think for a good season the peace is must. Though there is peace in the region and I pray God that the peace would continue," said Tariq Ahmed, a houseboat owner.

From the Mughal era, Kashmir has been a retreat for people seeking respite from the summer heat. Kashmir is regarded as a top Asian tourist destination, particularly for honeymoon couples, holidaying crowds, nature lovers, outdoor adventure enthusiasts like skiers and trekkers.

" Travel Weekly "