November 10, 2023 – In a landmark decision, the Uttarakhand state government has unveiled plans to establish the Rajaji Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation. This dedicated initiative aims to foster comprehensive development in economic, ecological, social, and cultural domains within and around the reserve.
The announcement follows a high-level discussion within the state cabinet, led by Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami. Chief Secretary SS Sandhu, in a post-meeting briefing, highlighted the foundation’s key objectives. These include safeguarding the natural environment surrounding the reserve and creating alternative livelihood opportunities for local communities, diminishing their reliance on forests and easing pressure on the ecosystem.
Positive Impacts and Community Involvement:
The foundation is expected to yield numerous positive outcomes for the residents of the Rajaji landscape. A key focus involves active community participation in ecotourism initiatives, promoting economic growth while enhancing environmental interactions. This strategy aligns with the goal of reducing human-wildlife conflicts, addressing a persistent challenge in biodiversity-rich regions.
Streamlined Tourism Policy and Infrastructure Development:
To bolster economic development further, the Cabinet has revised the tourism policy, streamlining its implementation through a single-window system. This decision aims to expedite procedures for businesses in the tourism sector, fostering an ‘ease of doing business’ environment. The move is poised to attract investments, contributing significantly to the region’s economic prosperity.
Municipal Council Upgrade and Tourism Promotion:
In a testament to the commitment to tourism infrastructure, the Cabinet has upgraded the Municipal Council of Muni Ki Reti-Dhalwala from category-2 to category-1. This elevation underscores the region’s popularity among tourists, yoga enthusiasts, and adventure lovers. By recognizing the area’s significance and facilitating growth, the government seeks to cater to diverse visitor preferences, promoting tourism and enhancing the overall experience in this scenic part of Uttarakhand.
The establishment of the Rajaji Tiger Reserve Conservation Foundation reflects the state’s dedication to balancing conservation efforts with sustainable development, creating a harmonious coexistence between nature and local communities. This forward-thinking initiative is poised to serve as a model for wildlife conservation and community engagement across the country.