Yogi Adityanath, the chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, gave the go-ahead on Tuesday for the creation of an action plan to save the Sarus crane and Swamp deer (barasingha), the state animals. Tuesday’s 14th meeting of the Uttar Pradesh State Wildlife Board was presided over by Adityanath, who delivered directives on a number of crucial subjects, including protecting the state’s biodiversity and increasing the potential for ecotourism, according to a press release. He praised the Namami Gange project for the growth in dolphin numbers in the Ganges, calling it a positive development.
“Similarly, we have to make planned efforts for the protection of the state animal ‘barasingha’ (swamp deer) and state bird Sarus crane. An action plan should be prepared and presented in this regard,” CM Yogi stated. He recommended hastening the development projects at Ranipur Tiger Reserve in Chitrakoot and Kukrail Night Safari in Lucknow.
“In this regard, the Wildlife Department, Urban Development, PWD, and Housing Department should together prepare a good action plan. These two initiatives will give the state’s biodiversity and natural beauty new identities. Both of these new places will be a gift for nature lovers. Action should be taken in this regard on a priority basis,” he stated.
According to the Chief Minister, the state’s tiger population is growing as a result of deliberate measures. “In the year 2014, there were a total of 117 tigers in the state, which increased to 173 in 2018. In the report released recently, the presence of 804 tigers in the Shivalik and Ganga plain landscapes has been confirmed. This is good news. We should keep up our efforts to conserve biodiversity,” he said.
He added that the initiatives to promote wetland protection and tourism had been successful, and ten Ramsar sites had already been designated in the state with its abundance of natural beauty. “Among these, the Upper Ganga River, Bulandshahr, Sarsai Nawar Jheel, Etawah, Nawabganj Bird Sanctuary, Unnao, Sandi Bird Sanctuary, Hardoi, Samaspur Bird Sanctuary, Rae Bareilly, Parvati Arga Bird Sanctuary, Gonda, Saman Bird Sanctuary, Mainpuri, Sur Sarovar Bird Sanctuary, Agra, Bakhira Bird Sanctuary, Sant Kabirnagar, Haiderpur Wetland, Muzaffarnagar, are included. Awareness of wetland conservation should be increased. Tourism facilities should be developed here,” the Chief Minister stated.
He also mentioned the potential for ecotourism around Bakhira Lake in Sant Kabir Nagar and instructed the administration to create a development action plan. CM Yogi has expressed worries over waterlogging that harms animals and flash floods during the rainy season. For the implementation of various Jal Jeevan Mission projects, such as drinking water, the laying of optical fibre, road widening, etc., in forest areas of different districts of the state, the Chief Minister instructed the officers to submit a proposal for prior approval from the Standing Committee of the National Wildlife Board. Additionally, he gave the officers instructions to keep a close eye on the initiatives, according to the press release.