Now, no vehicles to ply around Shimla Wildlife Sanctuary area | india | Hindustan Times
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Now, no vehicles to ply around Shimla Wildlife Sanctuary area

In a decision aimed at protecting the flora and fauna, Himachal Pradesh government has banned vehicles in Shimla wildlife sanctuary. Government's decision to ban vehicles in the wildlife sanctuary has come in the wake of rising pollution in the sanctuary area, which is also the catchment area for sources supplying water to the capital town. The order to ban vehicles came in force on Tuesday.

india Updated: Oct 15, 2013 18:18 IST
Gaurav Bisht

In a decision aimed at protecting the flora and fauna, Himachal Pradesh government has banned vehicles in Shimla wildlife sanctuary.


Government's decision to ban vehicles in the wildlife sanctuary has come in the wake of rising pollution in the sanctuary area, which is also the catchment area for sources supplying water to the capital town. The order to ban vehicles came in force on Tuesday.

"No vehicles will be allowed to enter the sanctuary area," principal secretary, forest, Tarun Sridhar told Hindustan Times.

"Vehicles have been banned for two reasons one to reduce noise pollution and two to check air pollution. Both air and noise pollution is harmful for animals inside the sanctuary," he added.

Instead of fuel-run vehicles, the forest department has been asked to explore options to ply battery-operated vehicles.

"We are exploring options to ply either golf carts or battery-operated cars," chief conservator of wildlife, Lalit Mohan, who is also holding additional charge of principal chief conservator, wildlife, said.

The Shimla Wildlife Sanctuary, which is spread over 10 square kilometres was opened for tourists and has a road that goes up to Seog. Each visitor is charged from Rs 10 to 100. While charges for bicycles or vehicles, varies from Rs 50 to Rs 150,

visitors are charged a nominal fee of Rs 250 for visiting the sanctuary, which is the habitat to different species birds and animals.

Leopard cat, barking deer, goral, common langur, leopard, rhesus macaque, marten, Indian porcupine, sambar and squirrel are some of the animals that have their habitat in the sanctuary. Shimla wildlife sanctuary is also home to endangered musk deer, which is hunted for its musk pod used in manufacturing cosmetics particularly scents and perfumes. A wide variety of birds and pheasant species can also be spotted in the lower altitude belts of the sanctuary, some of the more prominent ones being the cheer, koklas and khaleej pheasants, the Himalayan pied woodpecker and the great Himalayan barbet.

It was first notified as a sanctuary on July 29, 1958, and re-notified on December 4, 1982.

This is one of the few sanctuaries in Himachal, which is free from human habitation and the area has been preserved since the last century, as the catchment area provides water to Shimla town.

Declared reserved forest by the Britishers 125 year ago, the sanctuary was earlier part of the Koti state and came under the state control in 1947-48.

It has perhaps the highest density of 'Koklas Pheasant' among the state's national parks and sanctuaries.

Shimla wildlife is also a catchment area for perennial water sources that supply water to Shimla town. Nine perennial streams flow from this catchment area.

Water source in Gumma on Shimla town's periphery supplies about 15,000 to 18,000 megalitres of water per day. The water from Shimla catchment also drains into Churat, Jagroti and Chair nullah that supplies 3,000 megaliters of water on a daily basis.

The water from the catchment area also flows into Ashwani Khud, the lone rivulet close to Shimla town. This water source provides about 10,000 mega litre of water to Shimla.

FASTFACTS ABOUT THE SANCTUARY
Area 10.25 square kilometre
Annual rainfall 1,600 millimetre
Temperature 5.4º Celsius to 32º Celsius
Altitude 1,915 to 2,750 metre

It was first notified as a sanctuary on July 29, 1958, and re-notified on December 4, 1982.

This is one of the few sanctuaries in Himachal, which is free from human habitation and the area has been preserved since the last century, as the catchment area provides water to Shimla town.

Declared reserved forest by the Britishers 125 year ago, the sanctuary was earlier part of the Koti state and came under the state control in 1947-48.

The sanctuary is home to leopard cat, barking deer, goral, common langur, leopard, rhesus macaque, marten, Indian porcupine, sambar and squirrel.