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No more resorts near Corbett: Jairam Ramesh
March 22, 2010

No more resorts near Corbett: Jairam Ramesh


22 March 2010

Gyan Varma:

The environment ministry is worried about luxury resorts mushrooming around Jim Corbett tiger reserve and wants to stop more from coming up. In 1991, there were only six such resorts around Corbett, but at present there are 74.

Environment minister Jairam Ramesh recently said the growing influence of land mafia near the reserve was one of the major reasons for tiger deaths and rise in cases of man-animal conflict.

He has also written to Uttarakhand chief minister Ramesh Pokhriyal not to permit any more resorts around Corbett.  Ramesh has also persuaded Manmohan Singh to monitor whether state governments are taking steps to protect the sanctity of reserves.

“He [Singh] has agreed to take up the matter with the chief ministers of various states, especially Uttarakhand,” the minister said.

According to the national tiger conservation authority, 11 tigers died in January and February this year. However, 2009 proved to be the bloodiest year for big cats, when 66 of them lost their lives. Of these, 46 died inside the reserves and 20 in adjoining areas.

Ministry sources said there could be a bigger conspiracy behind the deaths — land mafia or local politicians and businessmen want the tiger population to dwindle so the land can be used for mining or construction.

In his letter to the Uttarakhand chief minister, Jairam Ramesh has also asked the state government to notify the buffer area in the reserve so that people living in them can be compensated if their cattle are killed or crops destroyed by animals. “Retaliatory killing is on the rise in Corbett. Sometimes tigers kill cattle belonging to people living in the reserves and they choose to retaliate,” the officer said.