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Uttarakhand state board for wildlife to meet after 19 months

The Uttarakhand State Board for Wildlife is going to meet on Friday after a gap of 19 months to discuss some key conservation issues

dehradun Updated: Jun 14, 2018 22:03 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times, Dehradun
Chief minister TS Rawat will chair the meeting on June 15 for the first time after forming government in the state last year.(HT Photo)

The Uttarakhand State Board for Wildlife (SBWL) is going to meet on Friday after a gap of 19 months to discuss some key conservation issues.

Chief minister TS Rawat will chair the meeting for the first time after forming government in the state last year.

The issues lined up for discussion include turning Nandhaur Wildlife Sanctuary into a tiger reserve. The sanctuary spreads across 270 sq km and has healthy tiger population.

Officers are aiming to declare the area a tiger reserve for better protection of big cats.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had given in principle approval for the project. But nods of SBWL and National Board for Wildlife are required for further action.

A proposal to this effect was turned down by former chief minister Harish Rawat in November 2016 citing to upcoming assembly elections.

The erstwhile Congress government was reluctant to declare the area a reserve fearing that settlements around the area will be displaced. As per central government guidelines, construction and other activities like mining are restricted around a tiger reserve.

“Nandhaur has healthy tiger population and has all the potential to be declared as a tiger reserve,” DVS Khati chief wildlife warden said.

Tiger tourism is also targeted in the process. Already, Corbett Tiger Reserve is famous worldwide for its Royal Bengal Tigers.

Every year, lakhs of tourists flock the reserve. Similarly, in 2015 Rajaji was also declared a tiger reserve. Since then, it has shown remarkable growth in the number of tigers and is slowly developing as a hotspot for tiger tourism.

In addition, the SBWL meeting will discuss the BJP government’s dream project -- Kandi Road -- for approval.

In May, the National Green Tribunal shot a show cause notice to the state government and other parties on the issue.

The road, as per the plan, will pass through the Corbett. Several other road projects are also awaiting the board’s nod.

First Published: Jun 14, 2018 22:03 IST