The Centre has cleared a proposal to grant the famous Rajaji National Park in Uttarakhand the status of a tiger reserve.
The proposal for elevating the status of Rajaji National Park as a tiger reserve sent to the Ministry of Environment and Forest about a fortnight ago has been approved, Principal Conservator of Forest (Wildlife) S S Sharma told here on Saturday. There are at present 42 tiger reserves in the country.
Citing a communication received from the Centre in this regard, Sharma said the tiger reserve at the Rajaji National Park will cover an area of 1150 square km including Shyampur of Haridwar forest division besides Kotdwar and Laldhang ranges of Lansdowne forest division, he said.
Terming it as a milestone in tiger conservation efforts, Sharma said Uttarakhand can now boast of having another tiger reserve after the Corbett National Park. There is presence of tigers in the Chilla and Dhaulkhand ranges of the Rajaji National Park which encompasses the Shivaliks near the foothills of the Himalayas.
Considering the tiger population at the Rajaji national Park, the demand for granting it the status of a tiger reserve was being raised by various quarters in recent months. Chief minister Vijay Bahuguna had made an announcement in this regard on April 1 after which the State Willife Board sent a proposal to the Centre about a fortnight ago, Sharma said. Rajaji National Park is spread over 820 square km and three districts of Uttarakhand including Haridwar, Dehradun and Pauri Garhwal.
The Park is at the northwestern limit of distribution for both elephants and tigers in the country and has the largest population of elephants in Uttarakhand.