Uttarakhand’s Corbett tiger reserve likely to be renamed as Ramganga National Park, says park director
The name of Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) in Uttarakhand is likely to be renamed as Ramganga National Park, reserve director Rahul said on Wednesday.
The Ramaganga river flows through the tiger reserve and is the lifeline of the reserve. In 1954-55, the reserve was briefly named as Ramganga National Park.
The decision to restore the name of the reserve was taken by Union minister of state for environment, forest and climate change (MOEFCC) Ashwini Kumar Choubey during his visit on October 3, the director said.
“The minister, during his visit to the reserve, said that Ramganga National Park is a good name instead of Jim Corbett National Park... so he asked us to initiate the process to do the same. If the forest ministry instructs us to prepare a proposal of this sort, we will act accordingly,” the director said.
“Earlier, the reserve’s name was Ramganga National Park… it was renamed as Corbett Tiger Reserve in 1955-56,” he added.
Another official at the forest reserve also claimed that the minister had asked the director to begin work for renaming the park and mentioned the same in the visitor’s book kept in the museum in Dhangarhi.
A senior official from the environment ministry, however, said that Choubey had made a mere suggestion and the idea was not a formal plan.
“This is not a formal plan. It’s only something the minister had written as a visitor in the register,” the official who did not wish to be named said.
Choubey visited the national park on Sunday to conclude the tiger safari organised as part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’ and Wildlife Week celebrations.
The Corbett reserve was established in 1936 as Hailey National Park after Malcolm Hailey, former governor of the then Uttar Pradesh province. After Independence, it was renamed as Ramganga National Park in 1954-55. In the following year, it was renamed as Corbett Tiger Reserve after hunter and writer Edward Jim Corbett.
The reserve is spread over 520 km and rich in flora and fauna; it is known for tigers, leopards, elephants, deer, bear and several species of other wild animals, reptiles and birds. Around three lakh tourists visit the reserve and the park earns around ₹10 crore from tourism every year, Rahul said.
AG Ansari, a Kumaon-based wildlife activist, said, “It will be injustice with Jim Corbett if the CTR is renamed. Corbett was a member of the committee which had played a major role in setting up Hailey national park. He was one of the few at that time who taught the world how to conserve forests and protect wildlife.”