After NTCA approval for 2 new tiger reserves, Uttarakhand forest dept to consult legislators
The Uttarakhand forest department will consult legislators on two proposed tiger reserves in the Terai belt after the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) gave its in-principle approval, officials said on Monday.dehradun Updated: Jan 15, 2018 21:31 IST
The Uttarakhand forest department will consult legislators on two proposed tiger reserves in the Terai belt after the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) gave its in-principle approval, officials said on Monday.
Uttarakhand has now Corbett and Rajaji tiger reserves. The Nandhaur wildlife sanctuary in Nainital district, which stretches till the Nepal border, and Surai range, which is close to Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh, are proposed to be new tiger reserves. Officials claim that the Nandhaur sanctuary, notified in 2012, has over 40 tigers, and Surai range has 12.
The new reserves will be notified after the state wildlife board gives its approval.
“It’s been three years since we mooted the idea (to NTCA) for having two more tiger reserves. The state government has to take a final call, and we are already in process of looping in concerned legislators whose constituencies are close to the proposed reserves,” chief wildlife warden Digvijay Singh Khati said.
Additional chief conservator of forest Dhananjai Mohan said both the areas are potential tiger habitats and need a better conservation strategy.
“Surai is close to Pilibhit and we believe that the tiger movement is to and fro in both the areas. If a reserve is declared in Surai, then better management of tigers in the landscape will be done,” Mohan said.
Declaration of a tiger reserve will necessitate restrictions on several activities in the notified areas that may not go down well with the local people. The forest department wants to take legislators on board to avoid oppositions.
The legislators are not okay with the proposals. Naveen Chandra Dumka, BJP legislator from Lalkuan, said he is against the project. A part of the Nandhaur sanctuary touches Dumka’s constituency.
“We won’t be supporting this project as it will hamper development in the area,” he said, adding “I have already written to the chief minister.”
In 2016, then chief minister Harish Rawat turned down both the proposals in the state wildlife board meeting. Present chief minister TS Rawat is yet to take up the projects in the board meeting.