What is National Park?
A national park is an area which is strictly reserved for the welfare of the wildlife and where activities such as forestry, grazing or cultivation are not allowed. Private ownership, rights and habitat, manipulation are not permitted in a national park. There are at present 66 national parks in India (about 1% of India’s total area).
The national park is declared by the central government after passing necessary rules and regulations in the parliament.
The laid down procedure has to be followed for constituting an area into a national park. The main legal provisions with regard to national parks are highlighted below:
1. A specific notification is issued by the state government declaring an area to have been constituted into a national park after due procedure such as enquiry and hearing for rights and concessions has been held by the collector.
2. No alterations are made in the boundaries of a national park except through a resolution by the legislature of the state.
3. There is a bar on all kinds of destruction, exploitation or removal of forest products, wildlife, skins, trophies or their habitat in a national park.
4. Cattle grazing is not permitted in a national park.
5. The Chief Wildlife Warden by a special order may permit the capture of animals for scientific study or research.
6. No blasting, quarrying or breaking of land is allowed within the limits of a national park.
7. There is a bar on the entry of firearms and explosives in a national park.
8. Through a special order the Chief Wildlife Warden may bar the entry of human beings inside specific parts of a national park e.g. the core area.
9. Forest villages existing in a national park are required to be shifted to other areas. Thus there can be no permanent residents inside a national park.