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Over nine months, the FSI compiled a report on the tree cover in the Pakhro, Kalushaheed, Nalkhatta, and Kalagarh ranges in the forest area.

The report, which was published in September, observed that 6,093 trees had been illegally felled in the tiger reserve, a senior official of the Uttarakhand forest department, who did not wish to be named, told The Hindu . According to the report, around 16.21 hectares of land in CTR had also been allegedly cleared by forest officials.

The State forest department, however, refuted the FSI’s claims and said there were some technical issues that needed to be resolved before the report could be accepted. Mr. Singhal accepted that the FSI report found that over 6,000 trees were illegally cut, but maintained that the forest department had some issues with the report and had not accepted it yet. Former State Forest Minister Harak Singh Rawat had laid the foundation stone for the Pakhro tiger safari project in December 2020. He said the project would be the State’s first tiger safari and the world’s longest.

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