Hostile takeover

  • 14/12/2005

On August 14, 2005, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje instructed the forest secretary to prepare a proposal for setting up a separate Ranthambore Board to manage the park. "I cannot say anything before the proposal is finalised and cleared by the cabinet,' says Sudarshan Sethi, forest secretary, Rajasthan.

On November 23, Rajasthan Patrika reported that modalities for setting up the board were at a final stage and that the state government was planning to give it a free hand. The board will be responsible for tourism, forest maintenance, wildlife conservation and other functions. All the revenue will go to it. Patrika reports that a wildlife specialist from a ngo may head the board, comprising five to seven members, including conservationists.

Locals see this move as handing over the park completely to a few conservationists. "The park will become their private property,' says a local hotelier. "They have a lot of vested interest in the activities that the park offers.'

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