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Thursday, 8 March, 2001, 19:13 GMT
Wildlife police station in India
Indian tiger
Improved security may stop attacks on tigers
By Ram Dutt Tripathi in Lucknow

The authorities in the northern Indian hill state of Uttaranchal say they are planning to set up a police station on the outskirts of the Jim Corbett National Park.

Map of India
But it is not yet clear where the police station will be located - since two states share the park's territory.

The announcement has raised hopes among forest officials that it may help stop the spate of recent attacks on elephants and tigers inside the park.

The announcement by the state's Home Secretary, Vijendra Pal, followed a meeting he convened with forest and police officials on Wednesday, to review security arrangements in and around the Corbett Park.

The decision is believed to be largely influenced by the recommendations made by the state's director-general of police, Ashok Kant Saran.

Critical report

Mr Saran strongly criticised what he called the lop-sided security system and suggested the opening a police station that would focus exclusively on the welfare of wildlife and have jurisdiction over the entire park.

Mr Saran told the BBC that under present arrangements, the police do not have any power over affairs inside the park and need to seek permission from Corbett officials even to enter the forest area.

The park is spread over an area of more than 500 square kilometres and has different portions of its territory falling under three separate districts within Uttaranchal state

Logistical problems

The park's director, PC Joshi, added that forest officials find it very difficult to lodge reports of criminal cases.

The two nearest police stations are located at great distances while the police station inside the park comes under the jurisdiction of a completely different state - Uttar Pradesh.

Mr Joshi said the proposal to have a new police station would be useful if its jurisdiction was given over to Uttaranchal - where almost all of the park's territory lies.

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See also:

17 Sep 00 | South Asia
Indian tigers threatened
06 Jul 00 | South Asia
Inquiry into tiger deaths
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