CHIEF MINISTER Mulayam Singh Yadav has urged Union Minister for Railways Lalu Prasad Yadav to divert the railway line running through Dudhwa National Park (DNP).
The stretch of 80-kilometre railway line has been in the news for the last several years for its “bloody trail”. Accidents on the tracks have led to the death of many a wildlife creatures including tigers, leopards, reptiles and cheetals over past several years. Despite the Forest Department writing several letters to the Railway Board urging for diverting the line or ensuring the train runs slower in the DNP, nothing has been done.
Addressing the press conference Principal Secretary (Forests) V N Garg said a letter has been written to Minister for Railways Lalu Prasad Yadav urging the latter to divert the tracks from the DNP.
Reply in this regard is awaited. Garg said that the Government has also urged the Union Government to reduce the funds for Project Tiger in the state. He said that the fund allocated under Project Tiger has been reduced to half since the last three years. Fund allocated in 2004-05 is Rs 2.65 crore, in 2005-06 Rs 2.42, and this year the allocation went abysmally low- Rs 1.38 core. “The state government has demanded to increase the fund to Rs 4 crore per year,” said the Principal Secretary. As per the latest census there are 273 tigers in DNP.
The Government had recently announced the formation of Tiger Protection Society.
It would constitute of representatives from the State Government, NGOs and wildlife experts. “The State Government is contemplating to give Katarniyaghat the status of national park,” said Garg.
On the Chief Wildlife Warden Mohammad Ahsan said a dozen accused involved in the trade of wildlife parts have been arrested between August and October. Some of the arrested persons had links with the wife of the kingpin in smuggling of wildlife material Sansar Chand, Rani. Sansar Chand was cooling his heels behind the bars in Delhi, while his wife Rani continues to run the network. “A team of UP forest department will depart for Delhi soon,” said Ahsan, and added that the Delhi government has given an approval in this regard. The Chief Wildlife Warden said that the IUCN has enlisted DNP as the second best national park in the country. He said that the next tiger census would be done on Camera High Technique method.