DEHRADUN: In a major decision involving Corbett Tiger Reserve, Uttarakhand Wildlife Board, rejected a proposal of 90 kms of road passing through the reserve. The project, which is said to be a dream project of state forest minister Harak Singh Rawat, was aimed at connecting Kumaon and Garhwal divisions of the hill state.
Anup Sah, a member of the board said, “Assessment by Wildlife Institute of India and others pointed out loss of thousands of trees and harmful effects on wild animals through which the road is proposed to pass. The decision was taken by keeping these facts in consideration.”
Activists and environmentalists expressed their agreement over the decision stating that it is in favour of conservation efforts. Shekhar Pathak, an activist from Nainital said, “The decision is good for the Corbett Tiger Reserve as well as in favour of conservation efforts. The decision has set precedence for governments to not take such decisions which adversely affect wildlife and the environment.”
However, the state forest minister commenting on the development said that the project is still alive and final decision on it will be taken after final report of WII on the project.
Uttarakhand state government in year 2018 had announced that the road will be constructed from Kotdwar to Ramnagar passing through the core area of the reserve.
A study to be done by Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun with funds of Rs 3.14 Crore was also approved by the state government in the same year. The project aimed to connect Garhwal and Kumaon divisions by reducing the distance by at least 82 km. The project though was challenged in the NGT in June 2018.