Dehradun: The ever increasing human interference in the animal habitat has pushed several endangered species towards extinction. Uncontrolled intrusion, illegal hunting and poaching deprived Sariska of its tigers, but no lessons seem to have been learnt by the past mistake. Similar fate awaits the big cats in the Corbett National Park.

Kalagarh village, situated right in the middle of the national park, is being eyed by many influential people having strong political network to encash the monetary benefits by promoting ‘farm house culture’. Land has been bought indiscriminately on random rates to develop farm houses.

The business idea may prove catastrophic for the animals inhabiting in the forest. For the time being, the forest officials have damaged the road linking the village to the outside world, but how long will the effort prove fruitful remains in doubt.

The Kalakgarh village, 10 kilometres away from the Durga Devi temple deep in the forest in the Maidavan Range of the Kalagarh Tiger Reserve in Corbett Park was habited by about 35-40 families three decades back.

But the villagers, fearing the growing number of wild animals, shifted to other locations. As a result, their 55 acres of land and 65 acres of occupied agricultural land were converted into barren lands.

When some of the influential people got to know of the vacant land, it was sold on random rates within no time in fake names.

The total land is estimated to be worth around Rs 125 crores. The names doing the rounds who own land in the village include a BSP leader, a former Chief Minister and three big politicians who make their presence felt at the Centre.

To gain a hold on the situation, the forest officials damaged half of the 10-km stretch of the road to foil such attempts, but the bigwigs are pressurizing the government to open the passage in the name of the ownership right of the government.

According to Uttarakhand Forest and Environment Advisory Committee Vice-Chairman Anil Baluni, Kalagarh is known for the breeding of tigers. Hence, such drastic human interference will threaten the life of the already endangered tiger species.

He assured that possible measures will be taken in that regard.

(JPN/ Bureau)