Appreciating the state government's move to protect rights of local people under the world heritage site Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP) area, Himalayan Niti Abhiyan coordinator Guman Singh has urged the government that the park should be managed by people in near future. Talking to reporters here on Friday, Singh said he met the district administration over the implementation of the Forest Rights Act, 2006, under the GHNP area and the administration had assured that the government was already working over the issue.
Making apprehension over the development of mega tourism activity in near future in the GHNP area, he said: “I am quite skeptical that whether the development of the tourism sector will improve the economic condition of the locals as I believe big industrialist or rich class may overpower the area. So we urged the government that active participation and ownership of locals should be confirmed firmly in the tourism sector to benefit the people of this area.”
According to Singh, members of Himalayan Niti Abhiyan and people living in the vicinity of the GHNP area have fought a long battle to protect their rights since year 1999.
After its declaration as a national park under the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 that debarred people of the area from using the park to extract herbs and grazing pasture for cattle but with constant struggle and pleas to the government, the government took the issue strongly with UNESCO at Doha in Qatar in June this year before declaring GHNP as a world heritage site.