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Resource Center
Is India Trying to Subdue Kashmir Through Religious Tourism? 
July 17, 2018
The Indian state under the increasing influence of Hindu nationalism is using Hindu pilgrimage sites..
“Aswachh Bharat” marks Amarnath yatra 
July 15, 2018

Tourism and Plastic: Exploring the Contours 

June 04, 2018
The threat that plastic poses to the health of the planet has been raising alarm bells for some time..
As Women, Are We Really Economically Empowered A view from the point of view of Tourism 
April 10, 2018

Do we enjoy the same quality of life as our male counterparts? How can we, when the figures of women..

Meet the Majid Squad, a Group that Voluntarily Cleans Filth on Amarnath Yatra Routes 
January 29, 2018
Notwithstanding the National Green Tribunal directions, Governor N N Vohra recently decided that a 60-day-long..
  • Key Interventions
  • Resources
  • Overview

Here you can find the Key Interventions (Campaigns, Events and Other Interventions) related to this State. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Key Intervention.


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Here you can find Resources (Papers, Publications and Presentations) linked to this State. These can be sorted year wise. On clicking a Title, you can read online and download the respective Resource. Please do acknowledge EQUATIONS when quoting from or using these resources in any manner.


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Sand Mining at Karwar, Karnataka, 2006Karnataka ranks high on domestic tourist visits among the Indian states. Successive governments have emphasized development of tourism infrastructure particularly through the public – private partnership model. The Karnataka Tourism Policy 2002-2007 highlights the need for private participation in developing infrastructure facilities, promoting ecotourism, development of circuits and aggressive marketing for promotion of tourism. Series of investor meets and road shows have raised hopes that once issues of regional linkages, connectivity, accommodation and lack of financial resources, seen as  the main hindrances to developing tourism in Karnataka government have been addressed , the future looks bright. Beaches, hills, pilgrimage, heritage, golf, wildlife and adventure have been the products that Karnataka has thrived on. Newer forms like medical tourism, education tourism, IT tourism, health tourism, and business / conference tourism are lauded as out of the box thinking -  the mantra being - more diverse the products the more the growth of tourism. Our engagements have focussed on the other side of tourism, particularly highlighting impacts on coastal and heritage tourism. The landmark legal battle in the Nagarhole case in 1996-98 helped establish the rights of adivasis to their “homeland” over forces like corporate led tourism. In a state that has long sold out to neoliberal forms of economic development, such battles for securing people’s rights is an ongoing process.

Our engagement with tourism issues in the state began with a workshop for Journalists in Karnataka in 1989. In 1990, a workshop on Tourism Environment and the Law in which groups and individuals from Dakshina Karnataka also participated stimulated greater networking and plans for collaborative work. In the programme on Tourism Education we have reported various initiatives with colleges and schools in Dakshin and Uttara Karnataka in this period.

In an important intervention where a team from EQUATIONS “walked” the west coast of Karnataka and Kerala, a report titled Status of the West Coast analysed the situation on the ground and enhanced further the possibility of contacts and networking. In the State Tourism Master Plan 1997-2002, a stretch of 320 km of the coastal belt of the state was declared as Special tourism Area (STA), in complete disregard of the Coastal Regulation Zone Notification 1991. EQUATIONS campaigned against the proposal and questioned the violations on the Karnataka coast.

Golf Resort planned near Murudeshwara Beach, Karnataka, 20061991 was the Visit India Year. EQUATIONS researched tourism’s impact in Karnataka. In September 1991 a workshop on Third World Tourism and Dakshin Kannada was organised by YANA, then a newly formed group in Mangalore. In the 1992-95 period we engaged with studying tourism development in Hampi, Thaneerbhavi and Maravanthe and critiqued the Karnataka tourism policy. Monographs on Gokarna, Maravanthe Majali were produced highlighting impacts of tourism.  “In 2002- 2003, EQUATIONS investigated the Pilikula “Model” Tourism Project to understand its impacts. Most local people were kept out of decision making processes and the investigation helped them to get mobilised to demand a role in the form and benefits from tourism. More recently, in 2007-09, we have engaged with the developments in Hampi in the process of critiquing the Hampi Master plan 2006 and strengthening networks. The Hampi World Heritage Area Management Authority and UNESCO are bodies playing key roles in evolving strategies for tourism development in this World Heritage Site. We have also engaged in tourism development issues in other ecologically fragile areas in the Western Ghats and engaged in campaigns with environmental and peoples groups engaged in protection of the Western Ghats.

Golf Resort planned near Murudeshwara Beach, Karnataka, 2006

Since the enactment of the Wild Life Protection Act in 1972, and the creation of inviolate sanctuaries, a fallout has been the forced displacement of forest-dwelling communities. In Nagarahole National Park in Karnataka similar displacement led to conflict between the Adivasis and the forest authorities. In 1996, however, the Karnataka State Government leased out 56.41 acres of forest land, along with infrastructure belonging to the Karnataka Forest Development Corporation, to M/S Gateway Hotels and Gateway Resorts Limited, a division of the Taj Group of Hotels. This project was allowed in violation of the rules of the Forest Conservation Act and the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 which prohibits non forest activities, and lease to private parties inside forest areas. A writ petition was filed in the Karnataka High Court in 1996 by the Nagarhole Budakattu Hakku Sthapana Samithi  and others, against the State of Karnataka, Principal Chief Conservator of Forest and Chief Wildlife Warden in Karnataka, Karnataka State Forest Industries Corporation Limited, Karnataka Forest Development Corporation Limited and M/s. Gateway Hotels and Gateway Resorts Ltd. EQUATIONS materials were part of the writ petition and we played a strong technical support and solidarity role.

This high profile legal battle, not surprisingly, went through many twists and turns. A single Bench of the Karnataka High Court allowed the plea and directed that the possession be reverted to the State Government. Aggrieved, two of the respondents filed two separate appeals in the High Court in 1996. These were clubbed and a three member division bench set aside the earlier judgement and allowed the appeal with some conditionalities. Aggrieved that this implied a post facto clearance by the Central Government under the Forest conservation Act, the original petitioners Nagarhole Budakattu Hakku Sthapana Samithi and others, filed a Special Leave Petition before the Supreme Court of India in 1997. The Supreme Court reserved judgment until the decision of the Central Ministry of Environment and Forest regarding clearances was at hand. In 1998, MoEF rejected the application of M/s. Gateway Hotels and Gateway Resorts Ltd under the Forest Conservation Act and the project was stalled. We describe this legal battle in such detail to illustrate how difficult it is for local communities to retain their rights in the face of powerful vested interests even when the laws of the land are clear.

Karnataka has been a favoured destination for the World Bank and Asian Development Bank for financial operations and policy advice. Policies on many of its basic amenities such as health care services, education, urban infrastructure and water supply are being driven by Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs). These policies are being pushed through loan conditions and direct financing by transnational corporations. In the light of growing investments in Karnataka, there has been growing regional disparity in terms of economic and social development. We have been actively involved in the debate in the state on the influence of International Financial Institutions on policy spaces in the state. In 2007, EQUATIONS supported the campaign against the proposed amendment of the Karnataka Panchayati Raj Act 2007. This was a regressive move as it violates the constitutional authority and mandate of the Panchayats.

We have had a consistent engagement with tourism teaching institutions, particularly as we are based in Bangalore. This is reported in detail in the Tourism Education section. Interns and volunteers have also tended to focus research on issues lined to Bangalore. “Bangalore - A Global City? Virtual realities and Consumer identities” explored the phenomenon of a global economy and culture comprising  of young knowledge professionals in the business outsourcing sector exists in parallel, yet consciously alienated from the local economy and culture. The links with infrastructure and the growth of urban tourism in and around Bangalore’s periphery with the boom in outsourcing sector is also addressed. Investigations into privatisation of lakes, use of water in hotels and employment of women in the hotel sector have been research studies primarily done by interns focussing on Bangalore and tourism issues. The issue of privatisation of public water bodies, tanks and lakes for tourism has been another area of engagement and solidarity with local groups ESG and Hasiru Usiru who filed a PIL in the High court on the issue, and received a favourable judgement.

Click on the 'Resources' Tab to read Karnataka related papers, publications and presentations.

Click on the 'Key Interventions' Tab read Karnataka related campaigns, events and interventions.
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