Posted by: Prerna Bindra on
May 05, 2010
As detailed in a previous story (Elephants Must forget, http://indianaturally.blogspot.com/search?q=elephants+must+forget), the Gola river corridor, a crucial tiger and elephant corridor that connected the Terai East with the West divisions is all but lost. Already under pressure from boulder mining, possible expansion of an existing highway etc, has been eroded by an Indian Oil Depot, an Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) encampment and a railway sleeper factory. If this link is broken the connect of the Terai from the from Yamuna river near Saharanpur, in
the West, to Bagmati river near Chitwan National Park in Nepal, in the East, will be lost forever. However, following media reports, a high level meeting was organised by the MoEF to look into the issue and site visits were made to assess the situation. Also, the MoEF is in talks with ITBP, and the response has been positive. The DG and special Secretary (Forests) Dr. P.J. Dilip Kumar has written to the DG, ITBP suggesting that a suitable, alternate site be considered instead of the present camp which sits right in the Corridor, so that it can be restored to wildlife.
However, a recent visit to the area shows that the situation has deteriorated very fast. While the ITBP headquarter has shown a positive attitude to shift the ITBP camp and thus enable the corridor to be restored to wildlife, at the camp in Gola permanent structures have been built , where as earlier there wre only tents. And a tall barbed wire fence and wall is being built. Sources say that the state is not interesting in moving matters to restore the corridor. Unless, action is taken now, this crucial corridor will be lost.