Khir Ganga

Great Himalayan National Park and Khir Ganga national park to be merged

The national parks, especially the Great Himalayan National Park and the Pin Valley, are a big attraction with nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts and has a sizable number of visitors every year.

SHIMLA- The National Wildlife Board and the State Wildlife Board have given nod to the merger of the Khir Ganga national park in Kullu district with the Great Himalayan National Park (GHNP)

However, the settlement of the grazing and herb collection rights of the locals who reside in the vicinity of the Khir Ganga National Park, which does not have any habitation, remains only obstruction. A formal decision to make the Khir Ganga a national park had been taken earlier, but the final notification is yet to be issued. The merger will make the total area under Great Himalayan National Park almost double at 1,464 sq km.

There are presently five national parks in Himachal, including the Great Himalayan National Park (Kullu), Pin Valley (Lahaul-Spiti), Col Sher Jung (Sirmaur), Inder Qila and Khir Ganga (both in Kullu). Since the Khir Ganga National Park is contiguous with the Great Himalayan National Park, the Wildlife Department was keen to merge the two parks for better management.

The National Wildlife Board and the State Wildlife Board have already accorded approval for the merger of Great Himalayan National Park (754 sq km) and the Khir Ganga, so the two will now be merged,

said BS Rana, director and conservator, Great Himalayan National Park.

He added that there was no habitation in the Khir Ganga National Park and only a few hundred locals residing in the vicinity enjoyed grazing and herb collection rights. The Khir Ganga National Park is situated at a height of about 5,500 meter.

Rana said the moment the Deputy Commissioner, Kullu, decided on granting compensation to the locals who enjoyed grazing and herb collections rights in Khir Ganga or gave them alternate land, the two national parks would be merged by issuance of the final notification by the state government.

Officials pointed out that the Wildlife Department was finding it difficult to manage the Khir Ganga National Park which was spread over an area of 710 sq km with the skeletal staff.

By merging the Great Himalayan National Park (754 sq km) and the Khir Ganga (710) we will have a total area of 1,464 sq km which can be better managed with a common staff and resources,

they said.

Himachal earlier had only two main national parks — Great Himalayan National Park and the Pin Valley in the tribal district of Lahaul-Spiti which is spread over an area of 675 sq km. The Inder Qila National Park in Kullu is spread over 104 sq km.

The national parks, especially the Great Himalayan National Park and the Pin Valley, are a big attraction with nature lovers and wildlife enthusiasts and has a sizable number of visitors every year.

Photo: Blog Spot

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