Explained: India’s newest tiger reserve, # 4 in Chhattisgarh
On Tuesday, October 5, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) approved the Chhattisgarh government’s proposal to declare the combined areas of Guru Ghasidas National Park and Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve.
The new reserve is located in the northern part of the state, on the border of Madhya Pradesh and Jharkhand. It will be the fourth reserve of tigers in Chhattisgarh, after the reserves of Udanti-Sitanadi, Achanakmar and Indravati.
The proposal was reviewed by the 11th NTCA Technical Committee on September 1, and approval was granted a month later under Section 38V (1) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. (” Tiger Conservation Plan: The state government shall, on the recommendation of the Tiger Conservation Authority, notify an area as a tiger reserve. ”)
A decade to go
Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary was identified as part of Sarguja Jashpur Elephant Reserve in 2011. Guru Ghasidas National Park was once part of Sanjay National Park in undivided Madhya Pradesh. Both have been identified as reserve forests, and had to be notified as a tiger reserve since 2011.
Medium size reserve
The constituent units of the new tiger reserve, Guru Ghasidas National Park and Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary, cover 144,000 hectares (1,440 km²) and 60,850 hectares (608.5 km²) respectively.
Guru Ghasidas National Park is located in Koriya district; Tamor Pingla is located in Surajpur district, northwest of Chhattisgarh.
Guru Ghasidas National Park was the last known habitat of the Asian cheetah in the country. Originally part of Sanjay Dubri National Park, Guru Ghasidas Park was established as a separate entity in the Sarguja region of Chhattisgarh after the state was formed in 2001.
The former BJP state government decided to integrate the Tamor Pingla Wildlife Sanctuary into a larger elephant corridor in the northern part of the state and sought approval from the Bhoramdeo Wildlife Sanctuary in the center of the state as a tiger reserve. Resistance from the local population in Bhoramdeo, however, forced the government to withdraw from the idea in 2018.
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The Congressional government has been working to get NTCA approval for Guru Ghasidas National Park.
State wildlife experts and activists believe it is important to turn Guru Ghasidas into a tiger reserve as it connects Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh and provides a corridor for tigers to move between tiger reserves from Bandhavgarh and Palamau.
Bhoramdeo, on the other hand, connects the Indravati Tiger Reserve in Chhattisgarh to the Kanha Tiger Reserve in Madhya Pradesh and, according to experts, the decision to create a tiger reserve in Guru Ghasidas National Park should not be not affect attempts to notify Bhoramdeo as a tiger reserve. too much.