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Entry fees, permits and more: J&K Govt notifies new Wildlife Protection Rules, 2024

Ziraat Times Team Report

Srinagar: The Jammu & Kashmir government has introduced new amendments to the Wildlife Protection Rules aimed at enhancing conservation efforts and regulating activities within protected areas. As per a notification issued by the Forest Department on 31st May، 2024, made available to Ziraat Times, the key changes are as follows:

1. Permit Requirement for Entry: Individuals intending to enter National Parks, Sanctuaries, or Conservation Reserves for activities such as photography, tourism, or other lawful business must obtain a permit. This permit, issued by the Chief Wildlife Warden or an authorized person, will be available upon payment of a government-prescribed fee.

2. Vehicle Entry Fees: Light vehicles entering these protected areas will also be subject to an entry fee determined by the government. However, Departmental Officers and officials performing their duties within these areas are exempt from this fee.

3. Permit Cancellation: The Chief Wildlife Warden has been empowered to cancel permits for valid and recorded reasons, ensuring stricter control over activities within protected zones.

4. Film and Photography Permissions: Permissions for making feature films, documentaries, TV serials, or professional photography within National Parks, Sanctuaries, or Conservation Reserves will now be issued by the Chief Wildlife Warden. These permits are contingent on fee payments set by the government.

5. Fee Exemptions: In the public interest, the Chief Wildlife Warden holds the authority to exempt individuals or vehicles from fee payments under these rules.

6. Arms Registration: Persons in possession of arms must register with the Wildlife Warden. The registration process involves applying with Form II, paying a government-prescribed fee, and receiving a certificate on Form III upon successful registration.

7. Cognizance of Offences: The rule updates authorize additional officials, including Conservators of Forests, Regional Wildlife Wardens, Divisional Forest Officers, Deputy Conservators of Forests, and Wildlife Wardens, to make complaints under section 55 within their respective jurisdictions.

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