Ranchi, Sept. 24: Deer safari out, biodiversity park in.
The wildlife board led by chief minister Arjun Munda today gave its go-ahead to set up a Rs 6-crore biodiversity park on Hazaribagh’s Canary Hills on the lines of the one in Ranchi.
Chairing the meeting at SKIPA building, Munda, in the presence of his deputy as well as the forest minister Sudesh Mahto, chief secretary S.K. Choudhary, MLA Saurabh Narayan Singh, forest secretary Alka Tiwari and others, said the biodiversity park would make more room for wildlife and cushion man-animal conflict.
The decision to set up this park at Canary Hills was taken after Central Zoo Authority refused to entertain the state’s plan of a deer safari.
The deer safari proposal had been doing the rounds for years.
According to norms, the state government has to first seek clearance from its own wildlife board after which CZA considers it. Since the state wildlife board had been functioning irregularly and was largely defunct in the past two-three years, its nod to the deer safari took longer. When that finally came, the CZA said no to the plan, citing there were many such facilities existing in India.
A source who was present at today’s meeting said the chief minister had mooted the biodiversity park with Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) funds amounting to Rs 6 crore that were lying idle.
“For a biodiversity park, there is no need to seek permission from any central agency. The chief minister has directed the department to ensure compliance at the earliest,” said a source.
Interestingly, the wildlife board held its meeting without any non-official member — experts or activists nominated by the state government — as the three-year terms of all have expired.
The board also gave its wildlife clearance for electrification under RGGVY in Chorba village, Champaran block in Hazaribagh.
“The electric wires have to cross Gautam Buddha Park. This was hampering electricity from reaching the village. The board gave its clearance to this now,” said MLA Saurabh Narayan Singh.
“It is a positive step for Chorba villagers.”
The board also agreed in principle to four-lane NH-31 (Ranchi-Patna route) from Bakhtiyarpur to Baharagora.
“Four-laning from Barhi to Baharagora is on cards. It has now been extended to Bakhtiyarpur. Wildlife clearance had been pending for this stretch,” Singh said, adding that the CM directed the forest department to start detailed survey and mapping work.
Munda also mooted a special fencing plan in elephant corridors to minimise man-animal conflict during migrating season.