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Government Decides to Minimise Damage to Corbett

14th Sept., 2004

On 10 September 2004, in the Supreme Court of India, the Ministry of Environment and Forests (MoEF) stated that it would relocate a stretch of the proposed Ramnagar-Kotdwar highway so as to minimise damage to Corbett National Park. The State of Uttaranchal, in which Corbett National Park falls, agreed to this proposal.

The controversial highway project was first highlighted when the Supreme Court of India started hearing an intervention application by the Wildlife Protection Society of India (WPSI) about the proposed construction of a highway through Corbett Tiger Reserve.

The road, linking the Kumaon and Garhwal regions of Uttaranchal, would have slashed through Corbett Tiger Reserve, fragmenting one of the most important tiger and elephant habitats in India. WPSI showed that there was an alternative: since the Reserve lay along Uttaranchal’s southern border with the State of Uttar Pradesh, the stretch of road that was to go through the Reserve could be shifted south, through Uttar Pradesh, minimising damage to the Reserve.

During the last hearing, the MoEF and the Government of Uttaranchal stated that after a joint survey, they proposed to align the disputed section of the road through Uttar Pradesh. Effectively, the road will pass through the buffer zone of the Tiger Reserve, avoiding the National Park. The MoEF also stated that no new constructions hotels, dhabas or repair shops should be allowed to come up in the 1.5km Eco-Sensitive Zone to be notified along the road. Uttaranchal has agreed not to let any human establishment to come up in its territory along the road. Uttar Pradesh has asked for more time to study the proposed alignment.


 

 

 

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