Port Blair, Sept 28: The A&N Administration on 27th Sept. 2012 has come out with certain do’s and don’ts in the Jarawa Reserve and the earmarked Buffer Zone created in the name of protecting the tribes.

In an announcement made, the Administration said that it has restricted certain activities in Jarawa reserve area buffer zone as illegal and punishable under provisions of A&N Islands (Protection of Aboriginal Tribes) Regulation, 1956.

The activities which are restricted include promoting tourism activities, directly or indirectly through advertisement relating to aboriginal tribes; taking photography/ videography or aboriginal tribes; hunting, poaching of animals and encroaching land in Jarawa reserve area; introduction of any form of alcohol, any highly inflammable or explosive substance, any form of biological germs and bacteria or virus to any member of aboriginal tribe; and setting up of large scale of tourists and commercial establishments in buffer zone.

It has also clarified that the punishment for violation may extend from 3 years to 7 years imprisonment with fine upto Rs.10,000/-.

It is surprising to note that the A&N Administration through the Executive Secretary AAJVS was reminded of publishing such advisory after the Hon’ble Supreme Court’s directive issued on 2nd July 2012 to comply with the Notification on Jarawa Buffer Zone issue by the same Administration on 30.10.2010.

Although no steps to comply with the Apex Court’s directive was taken after the order was issued in July 2012, the A&N Administration instead has been trying to promote tourism activities inside its own notified Buffer Zone.

ANIIDCO a corporation owned by the A&N Administration advertises and organises daily trips to Baratang (inside Buffer Zone), which still continues as on date. To add to it, it was noticed that on 27th Sept. 2012 on the occasion of World Tourism Day, the Door Darshan Kendra, Port Blair too had come up with a promo on Baratang Island.  

Needless to say that the only excuse the A&N Administration has been giving in this regard is that the matter is subjudice, even after the directive issued by the Apex Court of the country. After the directive was issued, the Administration had asked for 8 weeks time to implement the order. It is finally learnt that the case has been kept pending again and the next hearing will be on 24.01.2013. But does that mean that the A&N Administration is allowed to violate its own Notification by adopting a pick and choose policy as done in the case of M/S Barefoot and others?