Follow Us:

Bhutan wall on animal corridor raises eyebrows

We have recently noticed a concrete wall on the Indo-Bhutan border area. Construction of such a wall along the international border will be detrimental for wildlife for the corridor will be closed, leading to increase in human and wildlife conflicts on both the sides, said state forest minister Binay Krishna Barman.

Rajkumar Karmakar | Alipurduar |

The state forest department has started voicing concerns about a concrete wall that the government of Bhutan has started building at Kalikhola along the Indo-Bhutan border. The region is considered a prominent wildlife corridor that connects the Bhutan forests with the core area of the Buxa Tiger reserve forest.

“We have recently noticed a concrete wall on the Indo-Bhutan border area. Construction of such a wall along the international border will be detrimental for wildlife for the corridor will be closed, leading to increase in human and wildlife conflicts on both the sides. Such a construction will accelerate damage to the forest and its wildlife in the near future,” said state forest minister Binay Krishna Barman.

“We will be conveying our concerns about the matter to Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee. She will take the issue with the Centre. It is a dangerous move by our friendly neighbour,” Mr Barman added.

“Nepal had fenced a 22 km area along the Mechi River. We all know the result,” he added.

It is learnt that in its 760 square km area, the reserve forest shares a 70 km border with Bhutan. This vast area of the core Buxa Tiger Reserve forest is known for its undisturbed corridor for wildlife, including migratory elephants.

Considering the heat of the situation, the matter may be highlighted by the reserve forest authority in the next Border Development Co-ordination meeting that will be held between representatives of both the countries.

Administrative officials of Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts will attend the meeting under the leadership of the Divisional Commissioner of Jalpaiguri, Barun Kumar Ray, it is learnt.

“The matter has not yet come to my notice. I must look into the matter and take necessary action if needed,” Mr Ray, meanwhile, said.

“This is an international issue and I would not like to comment on the matter. However, the concrete wall is well visible at Kalikhola under the East Division of the Buxa Tiger reserve forest. We don’t have an idea as to why the government of Bhutan, being a friend of our country and a nature loving country, is doing that,” said an official associated with the Buxa Tiger Reserve forest, on condition of anonymity.