Monday, 13 February 2012

Nandhaur in Uttarakhand may get the Sanctuary status

Written by Anil Singh

Nandhaur in Uttarakhand may get the Sanctuary status 

If all goes well, one more wild area of Uttarakhand will get the Wildlife sanctuary status.

According to reports the Union Government is actively pursuing Uttarakhand's ecologically sensitive Nandhaur area --home to Asian elephants, leopards, tigers and sloth bears; get the Wildlife sanctuary status.

The government’s activism in this regard came after environmentalists raised fears that development in the state may put Nandhaur landscape's eco-system at risk.

There are two things which are seen as a threat to the Nandhaur landscape. One is the human movement and settlement in some areas; Second, and more visible one, is the Mining activity in many areas.

About Nandhaur area of Uttarakhand:

Nandhaur landscape of Uttarakhand, around 850 sq km area, consists of large swathes of undisturbed forests. Up till now the area has virtually no habitation (human population). The Nandhaur area is the sub-landscape flanked by River Gola in the west and River Sharda in the east and intersected by River Nandhaur which flows east to west in the northern area and then turn south to cut the landscape into two before disappearing in the tarai area.

The majority of Nandhaur landscape lies in Haldwani Forest Division, whose five ranges namely Chakata, Nandhaur, Jaulasal, Danda and Sharda cover about 600 sq. km. area.

The Union Government has written to the Uttarakhand Chief Minister to notify the area as a sanctuary as early as possible, underlining that the Nandhaur area is a very good habitat for tigers and if protected, it can become as successful as Corbett National Park.

The Nandhaur landscape is very rich area in terms of biodiversity as there are more than 100 species of trees, 30 species of shrubs and 20 species of climbers and grasses. It is also home to about 25 species of mammals, 250 species of birds, 15 species of reptiles and 20 species of fishes.

Reading between the lines (means ‘to try to understand what is meant by something that is not written explicitly or openly’):

As said, mining is taking place in many areas of the landscape; a section of which has the government approval. But most of the mining activity in the region is being carried out illegally (as in Gola River).

Since this legal-illegal mining mix would be taking place under the Umbrella of Uttarakhand Government’s Mining Policy; hence the Union Government wishes to preserve the Nandhaur, by declaring it a sanctuary. Once, the landscape gets the sanctuary status, the illegal and legal mining will be stopped.

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