MLAs Renu Bisht, Ram Singh Kaida, Alin Nautiyal, Chief Secretary Dr SS Sandhu, Principal Secretary RK Sudhanshu, Chief Conservator of Forests Vinod Kumar Singhal, Chief Wildlife Warden Uttarakhand Dr Sameer Sinha, ADG V Murugesan were amongst those present in the meeting along with other members of the Uttarakhand State Wildlife Board.
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 10 Dec: In the 18th meeting of the Uttarakhand State Wildlife Board, held at the secretariat, under the chairmanship of Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami, it was decided to raise the ex–gratia payment in case of death of a person in the human-wildlife conflict in the state, from Rs 4 lakhs to Rs 6 lakhs, which would be paid to the family of the deceased person. In case of serious injury, the ex–gratia amount has also been raised from Rs 50 thousand to Rs 1 lakh. The Board further decided that a corpus fund of Rs 2 crore will be created for compensation in human-wildlife conflict.
In another important decision, a proposal for re-establishment of Shivalik Elephant Reserve was also approved. The Board under the chairmanship of CM Dhami also decided that a Jim Corbett Trail would be established in the state. Under this, an action plan would be prepared in collaboration with the Tourism Department to bring the places associated with Jim Corbett on the World Tourism Map. In this, plaques would be installed at various places related to Jim Corbett while the track routes would be renovated. In addition, along this track routes, home stays would also be promoted. The Chief Minister directed the officials to start these works in a phased manner.
The Board further decided that Chaurasi Kutiya located under Rajaji Tiger Reserve would be developed according to international standards. This area was also important from the point of view of tourism and this project would be undertaken in collaboration with the tourism department. As per the Chief Minister’s announcement, a 12.9 km long road from Dhaula to Wari to Dokhri in Mori Block in district Uttarkashi and under Purola Assembly constituency, a 5 km long Pulinda-Tachhali-Syalinga motor road in Dugadda block would be constructed to promote public convenience and tourism. For the purpose of promoting yoga and tourism, a museum would be constructed at Rambara and a meditation centre at Chhoti Lincholi.
CM Pushkar Singh Dhami directed the officials to ensure more effective efforts towards reducing human-wildlife conflict. For this, the forest department and the administration would have to work in harmony, he said. He said, “As soon as the information about the incident of human-wildlife conflict is received, the ex–gratia amount should be received by the concerned within 15 days. It should be ensured that no one has to make unnecessary rounds of offices. He said that special attention should also be paid towards the conservation of Bugyals (Grassland meadows in the mountains). Effective efforts are needed to prevent damage to crops from monkeys, a comprehensive action plan should be made to solve it”.
Dhami added, “Forest department officials should also take public cooperation to conserve forests and reduce human-wildlife conflict. Many problems can be solved with public participation and public cooperation. Special attention also must be paid to bio-fencing”.
The Chief Minister said that one had to move forward by creating a balance between ecology and economy. Along with environmental balance, attention was also required towards ensuring development. The Chief Minister said that it was useful to follow the mantra of Mission Life given by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for environmental protection. Special attention be paid to water conservation. Effective efforts were required towards mitigation of climate change. He directed that in respect of the decisions taken in today’s meeting, full details of the work progress on these decisions be presented in the next meeting.
Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal said that public cooperation was very important to save forests. More efforts were needed in the direction of increasing the livelihood of people from forests. He said that Uttarakhand was a state with forest wealth. Uttarakhand’s responsibility for environment protection increases further. In the last five years, the number of snow leopards has increased from 86 to 121 in the state.