Raipur: The Chhattisgarh government has decided to declare Guru Ghasidas National Park in the state's Korea district as a tiger reserve, a senior official said.
The decision was taken at a meeting of Chhattisgarh State Wildlife Board chaired by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel on Sunday, a government public relation official said.
Presently the state has three tiger reserves, namely Indravati in Bijapur district, Udanti-Sitanadi in Gariaband and Achanakmar in Bilaspur, he said.
"The meeting discussed drafting of action plans for conservation of the wild buffalo, which is the state wild animal, the state bird hill myna and vultures. At least five species of vultures are found in Achanakmar tiger reserve, Guru Ghasidas National Park and Mainpat in Surguja," he added.
Besides, the board also discussed efforts to increase the population of tigers in the state and their protection, he said.
Meanwhile, Bhopal based wildlife activist Ajay Dubey welcomed the Chhattisgarh government's decision to declare Guru Ghasidas National Park as a tiger reserve, saying it is a significant move for the conservation of big cats and ensuring employment to locals, besides preventing illegal mining in the area.
Dubey had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Chhattisgarh High Court in September this year alleging inaction by the state government in notifying the tiger reserve, despite the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) approving it in 2014.
During a hearing on the PIL in Chhattisgarh HC, the state government had sought more time from the HC to submit details of steps taken by it for issuing notification for constitution of Guru Ghasidas tiger reserve. The HC had posted the matter for next hearing on December 12.