KATHMANDU, Sept 6: A single bench of Justice Sushila Karki today issued a stay order against hotels inside the Chitwan National Park (CNP). Advocate Bijay Kumar Basnet had filed a writ petition at the Supreme Court Wednesday, seeking a stay against the renewal of leases for seven hotels operating inside CNP.
Though the cabinet had said in 2009 that the lease renewal at the time was to be the last such renewal, it again discussed the renewal proposal two weeks ago.
The cabinet had formed a committee headed by Forest Minister Yadu Bansha Jha to make a study and recommend further steps. The committee in turn formed a sub-committee comprising government officials ranging from ecologists to lawyers, to take a rigorous look at the issue and come up with recommendations.
CNP is the first national park in the country and covers 932 square kilometers in Chitwan district. The seven hotels, that were in operation till July, have been waiting for a decision before bringing in tourists for the coming season.
The seven hotels inside CNP are lobbying for another lease renewal.
Three years ago the cabinet decided not to renew the leases again, citing degradation of the habitat of endangered species such as rhino and tiger and the poaching of these species.