Uttarakhand shuts stable doors after the mares have bolted

Dehradun : It is a classic example of shutting the door after the horses have bolted. The Uttarakhand government has now banned the construction of more than two storey structures in a two km radius around the Corbett Tiger Reserve.

While the government needs to be lauded for having taken the decision, albeit very belated and doing too little a bit too late, to preserve the flora and fauna of the Corbett National Park, which perhaps has the highest density of tigers in the country, but wild life enthusiasts here feel that the damage has already been done.

They were of the view that while the decision should have been taken even before Uttarakhand was carved out of Uttar Pradesh, by the U P government, but it was definitely required immediately after this small hill state was formed in November 2000, as a large number of multi-storey resorts had already come up in the immediaye vicinity.

“Apparently the lobby of the money bags and politicians who were keen to set up resorts in close periphery of the Corbett Reserve ensured that the Uttarakhand government did not take any such decision. Even an important politician who is a minister in the Vijay Bahuguna government has a resort there”, they pointed out.

They alleged that while the resorts catered to the needs of a large number of wildlife enthusiasts and tourists to the region who are lured by the invitations to see a tiger, but they were also being used by poachers and smugglers of tiger body parts, on the quiet, besides disturbing the wildlife of the reserve by moving insie even the core area in vehicles.

However, informed sources in the state forest department said that the decision for the ban had been taken till the announcement of the proposed eco-sensitive zone around the park is officially announced.

“The decision to ban the constructions of over two storeys was taken at the meeting of the State Wildlife Advisory Committee on Sept 14, but the official orders had only been issued now by the state government.”

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.

2 Comments

  • Pardon my ignorance, but after reading the entire story, I have failed to understand why mares have bolted, not horses. Or, do you have a ‘feminist’ editor on staff, who turning all HEs into SHEs?

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