NEW DELHI

Nod for plan to link a dozen wildlife sanctuaries in Rajasthan

The Rajasthan Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the environmentally significant proposal to develop the Rajiv Gandhi Biosphere Reserve linking about a dozen wildlife sanctuaries and the prestigious Ranthambhore National Park. In what should be considered a milestone in environment protection, the biosphere would facilitate movement of tigers and other wildlife in a corridor and safeguard any species from becoming genetic pools.

The Cabinet meeting, presided over by Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot, gave its nod to the proposal for final notification for the Mukundara Hills National Park and decided on formation of the Rajasthan Ex-Servicemen Corporation (REXCO). It also okayed a proposal to provide a customised package to Regen Powertech Pvt. Ltd. and L. M. Wind Power Blades (India) Pvt. Ltd., besides giving approval for an amendment in the Rajasthan State and Subordinate Services (Direct Recruitment by Combined Competitive Examination) Rules, 1999.

The Cabinet also gave approval for reorganization of the State Planning Board. The number of non-government subject specialists would now go up from eight to ten.

In fact, the move to name a national park after the late Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi was first made during the previous Gehlot regime. The Government then had named the present Darrah-Mukundara Hills National Park after Rajiv Gandhi. However, after the first notification on the Park, the Government was voted out of power and the BJP Government which came to power gave the present name.

“We kept the name of the Mukundara Hills National Park and chose a greater concept and a larger area to be named after Rajiv Gandhi,” said State Forest Minister Bina Kak talking to The Hindu . “After 13 years the proposal for a biosphere is being sent to the Centre for approval. The biosphere will cover an area of 11,000-odd sq km and help the co-existence of man and animal,” Ms. Kak said. The biosphere, if cleared by the Centre, is expected to have a budget of Rs.300 crore.

The proposed reserve would cover forest blocks, villages, rivers, water bodies, National Parks and sanctuaries including Ramsagar Sanctuary, Ramsagar water body, Rajasthan portion of National Chambal Sanctuary, Kesarbagh Sanctuary, Mukundara Hills National Park, Ramgarh Vishdhari Sanctuary, Shergarh Sanctuary, Bhensrodgarh Sanctuary, Darrah Sanctuary and Jawaharsagar Sanctuary.

After the proposed amendment to the Rajasthan State and Subordinate Services Rules, the examinations for these categories would be held in two successive stages – Preliminary and Main. The Preliminary examination will consist of one paper of general knowledge and general science. The Main examination will consist of four papers of 200 marks each.