Dehradun: One year after the Central Government mandated the formation of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) in the ‘Project Tiger’ regions for the protection of big cats, the Uttrakhand government seems to be still in a slumber over this issue.

Despite being planned more than a year back, the project to set up STPF in the Corbett National Park in Dehradun is still in the doldrums. The major stumbling block in the process here is the recruitment of the tiger protection guards.

Earlier, the State government had decided to appoint the existing forest guard officers as the new STPF team. But the Forest Guards are scale-4 employees while the guards that are to recruited in STPF will be at scale-3.

However, the government is contemplating to bring the post of Forest Guards at scale-3 level to avoid any further delay in the set up of Special Forces.

Uttrakhand’s Chief Conservator of Forest Srikant Chandol said that the talks are in progress with the Centre on the proposal for promoting the Forest Guards as scale-3 officers.