J&K: Concrete threat to Dachigam National Park

Mushrooming concrete tenements in Jammu and Kashmir`s Dachigam National Park are posing a threat to the sanctuary`s wildlife.

Dachigam: Mushrooming concrete
tenements in Harwan area bordering Jammu and Kashmir`s
Dachigam National Park are posing a threat to the sanctuary`s
wildlife, including the Valley`s famed Hangul (Kashmir stag).

Equipped with electricity supply, bio-gas plants and
solar lights, these over 150-odd brick-and-mortar homes in
in Mulnar village are squeezing the wildlife habitat areas,
say National Park officials.

The Mulnar land was allotted to people under the grow
more food programme for agricultural and not for residential

However, over the years the vast agricultural fields
bordering the park have transformed into a village, say the

A school and a mosque have sprung up in the village
located inside the Park but now stands delineated from it.
"Mulnar village is not a part of the National Park. It
has been delineated," Regional Wildlife Warden Hafeezullah
Siddiqui said.

Even the 200-hectare sheep breeding farm inside the
National Park is restricting the grazing area for Hanguls,
whose numbers have dwindled from around thousands in 1947 to
just 218.

"The chief minister has directed the sheep breeding farm
should be relocated within three months," Siddiqui said.
Veterinarians claim the removal of the farm will only
endanger wildlife existence in the National Park.

They argue the farm acts as a buffer between the village
and the Park. Its relocation will increase incidents of
animals straying into human settlements.


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