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‘Road from Corbett to be developed as green belt’

The 88 km long Kandi Road passing through the Corbett Park will be developed as a ‘green road’, Harak Singh Rawat forest minister announced on Thursday

dehradun Updated: Jun 29, 2017 20:58 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand news,Corbett Park,Wildlife Institute of India
A herd of elephants at Corbett Tiger Reserve in Uttarakhand’s Ramnagar.(HT File Photo.)

The 88 km long Kandi Road passing through the Corbett Park will be developed as a ‘green road’, Harak Singh Rawat forest minister announced on Thursday.

The government will rope in Wildlife Institute of India (WII) in this endeavour for the first-of-its kind road to be developed with eco-friendly engineering. Incidentally, the WII had published a report on adopting green measures for linear infrastructure development inside protected areas.

“We will make this as green road so as to ensure safety of wildlife as well as people,” Rawat told Hindustan Times.

The ambitious road project, a brain child of chief minister TS Rawat, aims at reducing distance between Garhwal and Kumaon to over 70 km and reducing travel time to at least three hours.

The Uttarakhand Ecotourism Corporation will be the project’s nodal agency that will ensure safety measures and other ecotourism activities. The government plans to establish watch towers along with other attractions for tourists.

About 22km of the road will pass through Corbett Tiger Reserve and about 10km will have Corbett on one side and Amangarh on the other.

The minister informed that the proposal of the project will be brought before the State Board for Wildlife following which it will be submitted to the National Board for Wildlife for a final approval. In 2015, the Supreme Court had restored powers of the national wildlife board and such clearances can be now given by the board itself.

Corbett to close Bijrani zone from July 1

The Corbett National Park authorities would shut down the Bijrani zone, one of the five zones where tourists are allowed, on July 1. Two other zones --- Dhikala and Durga Devi --- have already been closed.

Only Dhela and Jhirna zones remain open for tourists throughout the year, Corbett Park’s deputy director Amit Verma said.

The three zones remain closed during the monsoon months when the internal roads often break down.

Of the 5 eco-tourism zones, each with different landscape, the Dhikala remains open from November 15 to June 15, Bijrani from October 15 to June 30, and Durga Devi November 15 to June 15.

In case of flooding in the Dhela river, the authorities can shut down the Dhela and Jhirna zones too.

Another zone, the Sitabani, is a reserved forest area outside the Corbett Park, which acts as a buffer and is open around the year.

With inputs from Ahinav Madhwal from Haldwani.

First Published: Jun 29, 2017 20:57 IST