Submit 'factual report' over illegal construction in Corbett Tiger Reserve: NTCA to Uttarakhand forest dept

Express News Service

DEHRADUN: The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has sent a reminder to Uttarakhand state forest department after it failed to submit factual status report about allegations of construction of bridges and walls inside Corbett Tiger Reserve. 

The reminder dated on September 6, 2021 addessed to the chief wildlife warden of Uttarakhand said, “The factual status report in the matter has not been received yet. Kindly ensure the submission of factual status report so that action can be taken in the matter.”

Earlier on August 12, 2021, the NTCA issued notice to the chief wildlife warden of the state asking to submit factual status report in the matter after a legal notice was sent by a lawyer to the NTCA pertaining the issue. 

Bansal in his notice dated on August 11, 2021 to the member secretary of the NTCA in which he has also attached the pictures alleged that all the material needed for the said construction except cement is being sourced from the Corbett National Park – Uttarakhand itself, “resulting into illegal mining of the natural resources and the same is causing irreparable & irreversible loss and damage to the rich biological diversity of the Corbett landscape.” 

The notice states that illegal construction of bridges, walls is happening in the tiger reserve which shall not only disturb whole ecology of the reserve but is also against the provisions of Wildlife Protection Act and Forest Conservation Act.

The notice further added, “That said illegal construction of BRIDGES and WALL by way of felling the trees and shrubs within the Corbett Tiger Reserve by Uttarakhand Forest Department is nothing but unsustainable use of Corbett Landscape which is not only capable of damaging the ecology of the Tiger Reserve but shall also cause harm to the pristine biological diversity of the Corbett National Park.”

The alleged construction of four bridges and ‘high wall’ is within Kalagarh and Pakhro area of the reserve near Kalagarh Forest Rest House.

On August 23, 2021 the Delhi High Court also directed NTCA to take action in respect of illegal construction of bridges and walls within critical tiger habitat as expeditiously as possible and practicable. 

Chief Wildlife Warden of Uttarakhand, when contacted refused to comment on the matter.