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Sunday, 17 September, 2000, 13:00 GMT 14:00 UK
Indian tigers threatened

India's tigers are already heavily poached
By Daniel Lak in Delhi

Environmentalists say plans to build a new city on the edge of Corbett National Park, north-east of Delhi, could be a death blow to the already beleaguered population of tigers.

The area around Corbett Park is to be designated as a new Indian state with its own local government on the 1 November.

Among the areas being considered for the capital is a settlement adjacent to the park, known as Kalagarh.

The Wildlife Protection Society of India has been fighting in the courts to have the area vacated for years.

Civil servants moving in

At present, the Irrigation Department of the government of the northern state of Uttar Pradesh has about 5,000 employees and their families living at Kalagarh.

An additional 6-7,000 people have settled there in recent years, many of them retired government officials and politicians who wanted homes in the rolling hills around Corbett Park.

Environmentalists say these people are behind the move to have the new state capital built there, regardless of the effect upon the tigers and elephant herds.

Nirmal Ghose of the Wildlife Protection Society says revenue from tourists visiting Corbett Park is worth tens of millions of dollars to India and to the local economy.

A decision on where to build the new capital is expected soon.

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06 Jul 00 | South Asia
Inquiry into tiger deaths
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