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Move to rename forest areas

Jan. 29: The state forest department has started the process of renaming the three wildlife divisions across Darjeeling, Jalpaiguri and Cooch Behar districts.

Till now, the wildlife divisions, each headed by a divisional forest officer, were known by serial numbers like wildlife division one, two and three.

“As the names did not indicate the areas or forests which are under the jurisdiction of each wildlife division, it would create confusion for tourists and others. The state has decided to rename the three divisions so that the jurisdictions can be easily identified,” said Tapas Das, conservator of forests (wildlife, north Bengal).

Although a notification to rename the divisions was issued in November last year, the task to replace the old names on signboards, plaques and other markers started recently.

“After the work is complete, we have plans to rename the ranges and beats in all the three divisions,” Das said. Each wildlife division has several ranges and beats under it.

Forest sources said wildlife-I division, which comprises Baikunthapur forest, Mahananda and Senchal wildlife sanctuaries and Singalila National Park, all in Darjeeling district and parts of Jalpaiguri district, has been renamed Darjeeling Wildlife Division.

Wildlife-II that has Gorumara National Park, Chapramari Wildlife Sanctuary and Neora Valley National Park under its jurisdiction would be called Gorumara Wildlife Division.

The wildlife-III has been renamed Jaldapara Wildlife Division as it has Jaldapara Wildlife Sanctuary under it.