New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh government on Wednesday pleaded before the Supreme Court that the Centre's guidelines for regulating tourism in tiger reserves should be modified to meet the local condition for effective implementation.

Appearing for the state, Additional Solicitor General Vivek Tankha contended that the government has no problem in implementing the guidelines in spirit but not possible to follow it in letter.

"The guidelines should not be straight jacket but site specific," he contended before a bench of justices A K Patnaik and Swatanter Kumar.

He alleged that it would be difficult to regulate visitors in Pachmarhi Tiger Reserve as per the guidelines as people there do not go for seeing tigers but to visit a temple which is situated in the core area of the national park.

The bench after hearing his arguments said that the state government might be allowed to adept guidelines according to the local condition but they have to be approved by the Centre.

In the fresh guidelines formulated for states following the apex court's interim ban imposed on July 24 on all tourist activities in the core areas of areas of tiger reserves, the government said that to protect the tiger population, no new tourism infrastructure should be created.

The Centre said that a maximum of 20 percent of the core/ critical tiger habitat usage (not exceeding the present usage) may be permitted for regulated, low-impact tourist visitation.

(Agencies)

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