NTCA for strict enforcement of Carrying Capacity in Tiger Reserves

Newsroom24x7 Network

Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve. Photo by Lalit Shastri

New Delhi: National Tiger Conservation Authority has issued specific instructions to all State Chief Wildlife Wardens to ensure strict compliance of the “Carrying Capacity” as per the NTCA guidelines when it comes to tourism in Tiger Reserves.

Dr Anup K Nayak, Additional Director General Forest (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary NTCA has written to all State Chief Wildlife Wardens instructing them to ensure the gap between two vehicles is maintained at a minimum distance of 500 meters.

Nayak has underscored that tourist vehicles inside the Tiger Reserves do not maintain the minimum 500 meter distance with other vehicles, often resulting in crowding of vehicles at one spot where animals are sighted and this is detrimental to wildlife. This defeats the very purpose for which carrying capacity is fixed.

NTCA, through its order of 12 February, has asked the State Wildlife chiefs to implement the carrying capacity guideline in letter and spirit.

Tourism carrying capacity in Tiger Reserves is calculated as maximum number of vehicles permitted per day under the NTCA (Normative Standards of Tourism Activities and Project Tiger) guidelines 2012.


  1. Clause 2.2.15 of the NTCA Guidelines on tourism (dated-15 Oct 2012) reads as follows-
    “2.2.15. Management of habitat to inflate animal abundance for tourism
    purposes shall not be practiced within the core or critical habitat. Visitors shall
    keep a minimum distance of more than 20 meter from all wildlife; cordoning,
    luring or feeding of any wildlife shall be prohibited. Minimum distance between
    vehicles while spotting wildlife shall be maintained at 50 meters. Vehicles shall
    not monopolize a wildlife sighting for more than 15 minutes.”

    The mention of 500 meters can be found in the section dealing with calculation of Vehicular Carrying Capacity in the core area of tiger reserves (Annexure 1 of the Guidelines) .A distance of 500 m is mandatory between all vehicles plying on tourist road. But a distance of 50 meters is to be maintained between vehicles as long as they are stationary for the purpose of allowing tourists to watch wild animal. Vehicles cannot stop for more than 15 minutes at one place and all vehicles must maintain a minimum distance of 20 meters from the animals.

    So the news item above is slightly confusing.


    • The news item is based on the NTCA order sent to all State Chief Wildlife Wardens. Hence if there is any confusion or doubt, it has to be dispelled only by NTCA. Newsroom24x7 has followed the highest tradition of news reporting in this matter. We are attaching the NTCA order to set the record straight.


  2. Thank you for posting the OM from NTCA. It is quite obvious then that the NTCA while writing this memo completely forgot about clause 2.2.15 of it s own guidelines. They should have clarified that the distance between two tourist vehicle during excursion must be 500 meters while it is plying and 50 meters when the vehicles stops at a point to view animals.


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