Trees in Jim Corbett National Park Fell Prey to Greedy Nexus: Supreme Court


09:46 AM

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Trees in Jim Corbett National Park Fell Prey to Greedy Nexus: Supreme Court Blog Image

What’s in Today’s Article?

  • Why in the News?
  • Jim Corbett National Park
  • News Summary
  • Supreme Court’s Observation
  • About Core Areas and Buffer Areas in Tiger Reserves

Why in News?

  • The Supreme Court has slammed the political-bureaucrat nexus over illegal construction and felling of trees at the Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand, saying public trust had been thrown into the "waste bin".

Jim Corbett National Park

  • Jim Corbett national park is located in Nainital district of Uttarakhand.
  • Flora:
    • Sal, Semal, Kharpat, Sissoo, Khair, Dhak, Khingan, Bakli, Bel, Ber, Bamboo, Khingam, Jamun, Kanju, Rohini and Pula.
    • Sal, Khair and Sissoo are the most visible trees found in Corbett.
  • Fauna:
    • Tiger, Leopard, Elephant, Chital Deer, Sambar Deer, Hogg Deer, Barking Deer, Wild Boar, Langur, Wild pig, Rhesus Monkey, Jackal, Rabbit, Yellow Throated Martin, Otters.
    • Reptiles such as Crocodile, Gharial, King Cobra, Common Krait, Cobra, Russel Viper, Rock Python, and Monitor Lizard are also found.
  • Rivers Associated:
    • The eastern periphery of Corbett National Park is entirely fed by the Kosi River.
    • The Ramganga River (West) along with its significant tributaries Sonanadi, Palain and Mandal forms the prominent hydrological resource for the Corbett.
  • Key Facts:
    • It is India’s oldest national park (1935).
    • It was named Hailey National Park after its founder Sir Malcolm Hailey.
      • In 1956, in honour of Jim Corbett, who took the initiative for wildlife preservation in India, the Indian Government renamed it as Corbett National Park.
    • It has the highest population of tigers in India.

News Summary

  • In 2023, alleged illegal buildings and waterbodies were being created. The issue was brought before the court through a batch of applications.
  • The petitioners tried highlighting the violation of environmental norms and the encroachment into core wildlife habitats.
  • During the proceedings, the petitioners presented evidence of unauthorised constructions within the national park.
  • The court was shown photographs depicting concrete and iron enclosures purportedly meant for a 'safari' experience.
  • The court was also informed that a significant number of trees, over 6,000, had been cut down in the national park under the guise of safari development.

Supreme Court’s Observation

  • The Court has raised questions about the necessity of creating such facilities within natural forest environments, particularly in areas designated for the protection of endangered species like tigers.
  • The Supreme Court has directed the Government to constitute a committee to recommend whether tiger safaris should be permitted in the buffer or fringe areas.
    • Also, what guidelines should be promulgated for establishing such safaris, if permitted.
  • The Court also took a stern view of the illegal constructions and rampant felling of trees in Uttarakhand's Corbett National Park.

About Core Areas and Buffer Areas in Tiger Reserves

  • According to the Wild Life (Protection) Amendment Act of 2006, a Tiger Reserve must have a core or critical habitat and a buffer zone peripheral to it.
  • The Core areas have the legal status of a National Park or a Sanctuary.
  • The Buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple-use area.
  • The buffer area further, absorbs the “shock” of poaching pressure on populations of tiger and other wild animals.

Q1) What is Project Tiger?

Project Tiger' is a tiger conservation programme launched on 1 April 1973 by the Government of India. The project aims at ensuring a viable population of Bengal tigers in their natural habitats, protecting them from extinction, and preserving areas of biological importance as a natural heritage.

Q2) What do you mean by Community Reserves?

Community reserves fall under protected areas, along with marine protected areas, national parks, wildlife sanctuaries and conservation reserves, according to the Wild Life (Protection) Act (WLPA), 1972.

Source: Trees in Corbett fell prey to greedy nexus, says Supreme Court | Livelaw