Srinagar, October 18, 2021: The Union Ministry of Environment, Forests & Climate Change on Monday declared 547.09 square kilometers around the boundary of Kishtwar High Altitude National Park(KHANP) as eco-sensitive zone.
The final notification was issued by the Ministry almost nine months after it had invited suggestions/ objections from different stakeholders over draft notification of proposed ESZ around KHANP. “The eco-sensitive zone shall be of 547.09 square kilometers with an extent 0.51 kilometers to 10.106 kilometers around the boundary of Kishtwar High Altitude National Park,” reads the notification.
According to the notification, the administration of J&K UT shall prepare a zonal master plan within a period of two years from the date of publication of this notification in the official gazette, in consultation with local people “The zonal master plan for the eco-sensitive zone shall be prepared by the Union territory government in such manner as is specified in this notification and also in consonance with the relevant central and Union territory laws and the guidelines issued by the central government, if any,” the notification available with the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) ,states.
The National Park is spread over the undulating terrain of the great Himalayan mountains with an area of 2191.50 square kilometres in Kishtwar district. It was was declared as a National Park on February 4, 1981, with an area of 425 square kilometers. It was re-notified on July 6, 2015, with an area of 2191.50 square kilometres.The Park is known to harbour the highly endangered species such as Hangul or Kashmiri stag and musk deer. There are about 25 species of mammals and over 200 species of birds reported in the territories of the Park—(KNO)