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Haldwani-Rampur road widening a big threat

 


28 MARCH 2012

RAJENDRA S MARKUNA | HALDWANI 

Widening of the Haldwani-Bareilly-Rampur road via Lalkuwa may come as a major setback for the revival of the traditional Gola elephant corridor as a large part of forest land along the corridor is expected to be used to expedite the widening work.

The efforts made for the revival of the Gola elephant corridor spanning from the Yamuna to Sharda on the Tanakpur-Nepal border, which was in the news for all the wrong reasons, may take a backseat if the proposal for widening of this road goes through.

The increasing number of incidents of human-animal conflict such as damaging of standing crop by jumbos in Lalkuwa area tells the sorry story of the corridor. So the widening of road would not only give rise to vehicular movement but also occupy a huge part of forest land in this area resulting in its further deterioration.

Three forest divisions, including Haldwani, Terai East and Terai Central, are expected to be affected most following this road widening.

Only Terai East forest division is expected to lose about seven hectares of its forest land. The widening of road is still in the initial stages. The approval of authorities, including the State forest department, has been sought, PK Patro, divisional forest officer, Terai East forest division, told The Pioneer.

The traditional Gola elephant corridor seems to be defunct as there is almost no wildlife movement here mainly because of human habitation along the area. Apart from increasing vehicular movement and commercial activity, coming up of an ITBP camp and an Indian Oil depot and rise in mining activities in the area have added to the woes of the local wildlife.



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