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New Year rush puts forest officials on alert

 
The Pioneer, Dehradun, 31st December, 2009 
 
As the tourist rush for Corbett, Rajaji National Park and other hills in the State has suddenly gone up due to the New Year's Eve, the State forest department has sounded high alert in wildlife sanctuaries and national parks to prevent poaching.
 
Office of the State Chief Wildlife Warden has directed the respective forest divisions and national administration to conduct intensive patrolling to prevent poaching.
 
As forest department authorities are well settled with the idea that New Year revelation will beget rise in wildlife crime in the State, they are trying hard to keep poachers away from forest areas especially from those which have dense wildlife populations. In fact, Corbett Tiger Reserve and Rajaji National Park administration have sounded high alert to its field staff since past one week.
 
This will continue till January 4 and January 5. Rajaji and Corbett managements are taking due care to keep poachers away from animals without creating any hindrance to the flow of New Year revellers coming from outside. Forest guest houses at all important tourist spots of the State, particularly in CTR, Rajaji, Mussoorie and those located in wildlife-rich areas, are witnessing heavy rush of tourists.
 
So much so that CTR and Rajaji National Park guest houses and lodging facilities are fully packed till January 8 to January 10.
 
"We have put Rajaji National Park under high alert till first week of January and asked our men to remain on vigil round the clock. Certain areas of the park have been ear marked as sensitive and entire Rajaji National Park staff is engaged in intensive patrolling in the night as well," said park deputy director Shravan Kumar. He said even senior officials including park director are busy taking care of wildlife wealth.
 
According to him, the park's areas bordering Haridwar are being guarded with due attention. It's interesting that a sambar was recently poached by some unidentified criminals but park officials failed to nail the culprits despite all efforts to find their whereabouts. In fact, they are still on hunt of the accused.
 
Wildlife crime during this part of the year goes up as poachers try to make kill for consumption. As a result, officials are forced to take due care of wild animals. Rajaji and CTR men have to take special care to guard their forests as these are highly vulnerable areas.
 
Meanwhile, tourist flow in Corbett has touched an all-time high with tourists flocking the reserve in big numbers. Bookings in hotels and forest guest houses at in and around park are almost full till January 10. The infamous Dikhala Zone guest houses and other lodging arrangements are already booked for VIPs. This New Year Eve celebration is witnessing huge rush of VIPs from within the State as well as other parts of the country. Even tourist bookings for diurnal visit in Bijrani, Jhirna and Durga Devi zones are full up to early January next year.
 
More than two lakh people visited Corbett during 2008-09. As many as 1,71,394 tourists visited Corbett in 2007-08. This number was 13,907 in 2006-07, while 1,30,043 and 1,12,298 tourists visited Corbett in 2005-06 and 2004-05 respectively. This has made Corbett, the preferred destination for New Year revellers.
 
"For those used to hectic pace of life, celebrating New Year at the Corbett continues to be the first choice as it comes as a best means to get themselves refresh," Piyush Rautela of Wild Adventure, Ramnagar in the Corbett region.