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Jim Corbett National Park: Whistleblower Bureaucrat Crackdowns on VVIP culture

The order was issued purely in public interest and to comply with the government norms

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National Park, Bureaucrat, Fake Websites
More than 45 per cent of posts (of guards and other staff) are lying vacant. Pixabay

From fake websites to the alleged forged booking of guest houses, Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand’s Ramnagar seems to be mired in a long tale of corruption and controversies.

Several incidents have come to light about the blatant misuse of ‘official positions’ to seek favours for a safari ride or a stay inside the park premises.

Taking stern action against this prevailing mess, the new Officiating Director of the national park, Sanjeev Chaturvedi, has ordered that its sought after guest houses will now entertain only seven VVIPs, including the President, Prime Minister and the Chief Justice of India.

No ‘so-called VVIPs’ including Judges, Ministers and bureaucrats would be entertained at the government’s expense.

National Park, Bureaucrat, Fake Websites
Jim Corbett National Park in Uttarakhand’s Ramnagar seems to be mired in a long tale of corruption and controversies. Pixabay

Sources said that on an average, over 300 applications for seeking personal favours and recommendations from bureaucrats, Ministers and Judges for safari rides and lodging inside the Corbett jungle were received every month.

“I do not want to take names, but I do admit that pressure of the VVIPs, seeking favour either for themselves or for their friends and relatives (for stay), was finally affecting the official work at the national park.

“More than 45 per cent of posts (of guards and other staff) are lying vacant. Despite being understaffed, we were expected to entertain VIP tourists instead of being engaged in patrolling duties,” said Chaturvedi, a whistleblower bureaucrat and winner of the coveted Magsaysay Award.

According to Chaturvedi the order was issued purely in public interest and to comply with the government norms. “We have opened the online booking of guest houses for everyone. Every citizen has the right to stay inside the national park. Until now, most of the bookings were availed by the VIPs and their friends. Our Prime Minister wants to end VIP culture in the country, so why not follow the same principle here?” he told IANS.

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Not just that. Several websites, using the original address and photographs of Corbett National Park, were duping hundreds of tourists, including foreigners, who flocked there to see its tiger population during peek season.

Identifying such websites, Chaturvedi has reportedly served them notices to immediately restrain from using the national park’s official pictures and address to lure tourists.

Chaturvedi is officiating as Director of the Corbett National Park for the past three weeks, because the Indian Forest Officer posted there as director is on training leave. (IANS)

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Bardiya National Park in Nepal Using Mobile App for Conservation of One-Horned Rhinos

In the past, the park used the satellite-GPS collar on the rhinos in the Babai valley to enhance the monitoring of the endangered animals

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National Park, Nepal, Rhino
According to park officials, the app will help receive vital information about rhinos, including their photographs by using smartphones. It has been named "smart patrol", The Kathmandu Post reported. Flickr

The Bardiya National Park in Nepal has started using a mobile app for the conservation of one-horned rhinos.

According to park officials, the app will help receive vital information about rhinos, including their photographs by using smartphones. It has been named “smart patrol”, The Kathmandu Post reported.

In the past, the park used the satellite-GPS collar on the rhinos in the Babai valley to enhance the monitoring of the endangered animals. But that technology was useless now.

Ananath Baral, chief conservation officer of the park, said that satellite-GPS collars were not working on the rhinos in the Babai valley.

National Park, Nepal, Rhino
The Bardiya National Park in Nepal has started using a mobile app for the conservation of one-horned rhinos. Flickr

“The satellite-GPS collars do not provide information now. They might have been damaged or lost,” said Baral, adding that the details will be known after they start a census of the animals this fiscal year.

The Department of National Parks and Wildlife Conservation, National Trust for Nature Conservation, WWF Nepal and local communities have been involved in satellite tracking of endangered wildlife, including rhinos and tigers in the park.

In 2016 and 2017, eight rhinos which were translocated from Chitwan National Park to Bardiya National Park, were successfully collared with radio transmitters. As per the record of the park, there were only six rhinos in the Babai valley.

One of them died of natural causes, said Baral.

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According to the 2015 count, Nepal is home to 645 rhinos — 605 in Chitwan, 29 in Bardia, eight in Shuklaphanta and three in Parsa.

The number of rhinos, which fell sharply in the 1950s and 60s, started to rebound after the establishment of the Chitwan sanctuary in 1973. (IANS)