Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath on Tuesday directed the officials to prepare an action plan for protecting the state animal Swamp deer (barasingha), and the state bird Sarus crane.
Chairing the 14th meeting of the Uttar Pradesh State Wildlife Board on Tuesday, Adityanath gave guidelines on a number of important topics, including preserving the biodiversity of the state and expanding the possibilities of eco-tourism, informed a press statement.
He called the increase in dolphin populations in the Ganges due to the Namami Gange project, an encouraging 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 said.
He said that the development works of Kukrail Night Safari, Lucknow, and Ranipur Tiger Reserve, Chitrakoot, should be expedited.
"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 said.
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The Chief Minister highlighted that the number of tigers is increasing in the state due to planned efforts.
"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 also said that the efforts to promote wetland conservation and tourism have yielded good results, and so far, 10 Ramsar sites have been declared in the state full 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 further pointed out the opportunities for ecotourism around Sant Kabir Nagar's Bakhira Lake, and directed the officials to prepare an action plan for development.
CM Yogi also raised concerns regarding flash floods during the rainy season and water logging that affects wildlife.
The Chief Minister asked the officers to send a proposal for prior approval from the Standing Committee of the National Wildlife Board for transfer/change in land use for the implementation of various projects of Jal Jeevan Mission, such as drinking water, laying of optical fibre, road widening, etc., in forest areas of various districts of the state.
He also instructed the officers to regularly monitor the projects, the press statement read.
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