Uttarakhand to have yet another tiger reserve

Dehra Dun : Uttarakhand is likely to have yet another tiger reserve. The state chief wildlife warden, S S Sharma will be sending a proposal to the government for making the Rajaji National Park, a tiger reserve, after deducting certain areas of the proposed buffer zone which were likely to create problems from the villagers living in the area.

Informed sources said that the area of the buffer zone of the proposed tiger reserve has been reduced from 300 sq Kms to 255 sq Kms on the recommendations of the recommendations of the expert committee that had been set up for the purpose. The proposal being sent to the government will be on the basis of the recommendation of the expert committee.

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The proposed tiger reserve will now have a core area of 920 sq Kms plus an additional buffer area of 255 sq Kms. “The expert committee had a public hearing on the proposed tiger reserve with the stake holders and particulary the villagers living in the area that was to come in the buffer area, after which it was decided to remove the inhabited areas completely from the proposed reserve”, they claimed.

They said that almost all the formalities for the proposed tiger reserve had been completed and the government had only to issue a notification after going through the recommendations that have been sent to it.

Meanwhile the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in coordination with the Dehra Dun based Wildlife Institute of India has decided to have a census of the tiger population in the Rajaji National Park area so as to know the actual number of tigers that have made the Park their home. The census will be spread over eight days.

It is being presumed that the Rajaji National Park is home to 12 to 14 tigers who may have spilled over from the Corbett tiger reserve. As Rajaji National Park has a rich strength of herbivores, which can sustain the feline population the tigers have made the Park area their home, but their exact strength would only be known after the census.

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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