Now man-tiger conflict on the anvil

Dehradun : Uttarakhand is already facing massive man-elephant conflict as the corridors meant for the migration of the pachyderms have been lost to rampant and illegal constructions. It appears to now be heading for a tiger-man conflict as rampant constructions threaten to close the corridors of migration for the felines in the Corbett National Park area, which the home of the tigers.

Informed sources told the Hill Post that about 100 hotels and resorts had been constructed in and around the Corbett National Park. The tragedy was the constructions had gone ahead without taking a no objection certificate (NOC) from the forest department, which is considered essential for construction in the area. How did the concerned authorities sanction the maps for the resorts or hotels, is anyone’s guess.

While admitting that the major reason for the hotels and resorts coming up in the region was to attract tourists to the Park, they said that the ecological constraints of the region, the rights of the local residents and the damage to the tiger corridors should also have been taken into consideration before plans for the hotels and resorts were sanctioned by the concerned authorities.

They said that during the past few years there had been an increase in poaching activities in the region and one could rule out the involvement of staff and management of the hotels and resorts in the illegal practice. It is not only herbivores used for the pot that are being killed but even leopards and tigers are falling to poachers who then sell the bones and hides to smugglers.

Sources said that while the administration was closing its eyes to the number of resorts and hotels opening up in the region, a plan was being evolved to remove the van gujjars, who have been living in these forests for generations, from the Corbett Park area, as they were now being considered a danger to preservation of wild life in the Park.

A journalist with over 40 years of experience, Jagdish Bhatt is Editor Hill Post (Uttarakhand). Jagdish has worked with India's leading English dailies, which include Times of India, Indian Express, Pioneer and several other reputed publications. A highly acclaimed journalist, Jagdish is a recipient of many awards, latest being the 2011 Development Journalism Award. He lives in Dehra Dun.

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