The entire area of Melghat Tiger Reserve is administratively controlled by Chief Conservator of Forests and Field Director having headquarter at Amravati. The area has been divided into three Wildlife Divisions; namely Sipna Wildlife Division, Paratwada, Gugamal Wildlife Division Paratwada and Akot Wildlife Division Akot. Entire area of the Reserve including the area of Wan, Ambabarwa and Narnala sanctuaries along with 3 Deputy Conservator of Forests and their staff has been put under Directorate through the Government of Maharashtra Order No. WLP/1094/Pra 211/F-1/Dated 26th April 1999 for unified Control.
Division Wise Distribution of Critical Tiger Habitat Area in M.T.R.
Name of Division
Forest Area in
Non Forest Area in
|Total Area In sq. km.|
|Sipna W/L Dn.||Nil||474.65||9.42||484.07||213|
|Gugamal W/L Dn.||231.39||225.76||9.25||466.40||197|
|.Akot W/L Dn.||129.89||409.88||10.25||550.02||179|
Total area of Critical Tiger Habitat under Melghat Tiger Reserve is as under-
Gugamal National Park- 361.28 Sq.kms.
Forest area of Sanctuary- 1110.29 Sq.kms.
Non Forest area of Sanctuary- 28.92 Sq.kms.
Total of Critical Tiger Habitat- 1500.49 Sq.kms.
Legal Status of Gugamal National Park and Melghat Sanctuary
Govt. of Maharashtra, Revenue& Forests Department vide Gazette Notification No. WLP 1978/10553 (9), F-5, Dated 5th September 1985, declared an area of 1597.23 sq km as Melghat Tiger Sanctuary . Govt. of Maharashtra Revenue & Forests Department vide Notification No./WLP-1086/18061/F-5/Dated 27 November, 1987 declared its intention to constitute an area of 361.80 sq. km. as a National Park The total area of Melghat Tiger Reserve was enhanced from 1597.23 sq. km. to 1624.30 sq km. on 27.11.1987. Govt. of Maharashtra. Revenue & Forests, Department vide Gazette Notification No. WLP- 1092/Pra-526/ F-5, dated 15.2.1994 reconstituted the area of Melghat Sanctuary to 1150.03 sq km on administrative grounds . Reserve Forest area of Melghat Sanctuary has been finally notified as Melghat Sanctuary vide Notification No.W.L.P-10-2000, C.R- 41/F- 1/ dated 6th November 2000 admeasuring 767.36 Sq km. Final notification about Gugamal National Park has been issued vide No. WLP-1098/CR-135/F-1/Dated 8th August, 2000 admeasuring 361.28 sq km.
History of denotification of part of Melghat Sanctuary and Creation of Multiple Use Area
During 1985, Government of Maharashtra vide its notification no. WLP 1978/10553(9), F-5, dated 5th September 1985 issued notification under section 18 of Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 declaring its intention to constitute Melghat Tiger Sanctuary extending over an area of 1597.23 sq.km. The prime object of constituting an area as “Melghat Sanctuary” was to create a wildlife habitat which should be free from any biotic interference.
On February 1994, the Government issued another notification delimiting the Sanctuary area to 1150.03 sq.km. on the following grounds-
Therefore, it was necessary to reduce the area of Sanctuary in a shape of a narrow strip on the North-West and North-East encompassing 39 villages and land admeasuring 526.90 sq.km. With the provisions of section 26 A (3) of WLPA, 1972 the change was notified vide G. R. No. WLP-1092/C.No.526/F-5, dated 15th February 1994. As per the revised notification, area of Sanctuary became 1150.03 sq.km. encompassing 22 villages.
Writ Petition No. 1748/94 Filed By Beag
The notification dated 15th February 1994 was challenged by the Bombay Environmental Action Group and others by filing a writ petition no. 1748/94 in the Nagpur Bench of Mumbai High Court in June 1994 giving the reason that wild animal poaching in the denotified area will increase as it would lack strict protection accorded to sanctuary and twenty four tigers would become devoid of their habitat because of exclusion of the area from sanctuary and forest will be exploited. The Government clarified these points through several affidavits filed in the High Court stating that the area excluded from the sanctuary will remain part of Tiger Reserve and no commercial felling will be done.
The writ petition was pending in the High Court for a long time. On 1/08/2011 the court passed order in this respect as below, finally disposing off the petition-“In view of subsequent Notification dated 29/09/2010 we find that the apprehensions expressed by the petitioners are taken care of. It is also clear that if the petitioners are not satisfied with the steps expected to be taken by the respondents in the matter, they can still approach this Court in appropriate matter. Hence, with this liberty to the petitioners, as we find grievances expressed in the petition already redressed, we dispose of the petition as infructuous. However, there shall be no order as to costs. Rule discharged.”
Legal Status of Narnala Sanctuary
The area comprised in Sanctuary is Reserve Forests notified vide notification No 344 dated 4th November, 1901. An area of 12.35 Sq. Km. was declared as Narnala Wildlife Sanctuary in 1997 as per clause (b) of sub-section (1) of section 26(a) of the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 vide Government of Maharashtra Notification No. WLP/1096/CR-279/F-1 dated 2 nd May 1997.
Legal Status of Ambabarwa Sanctuary
The areas comprised in the Sanctuary are Reserved Forests and Protected Forests and cultivation land of ex-forest villages situated in the Sanctuary. Reserve forests included in Ambabarwa Sanctuary were notified along with other forests of Buldana District as Reserved Forests. An area of 102.10 sq km of Reserve forest was declared as Ambabarwa Wildlife Sanctuary in 1997 as per section 26 (A) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 vide Govt. of Maharashtra Notification No WLP/1094/CR-123/F-1 dated 9th April 1997. Protected Forests of Ambabarwa Sanctuary area were notified, along with other forests of Buldana District as Protected Forest. The intention to include 22.62 sq km as part of Ambabarwa Sanctuary was made under section 18 (1) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 vide Government of Maharashtra Notification No. WLP/1094/CR-123/F-1 dated 9th April 1997. The private lands included in the Ambabarwa Sanctuary are the cultivation and abadi areas of three ex-forest villages of Ambabarwa, Chunkhadi and Rohinkhidaki of Sangrampur Tahsil. The intention to include these areas as part of Ambabarwa Sanctuary was made under section 18 (1) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 vide Government of Maharashtra Notification No. WLP/1094/CR-123/F-1 dated 9th April 1997. The final notification to include the cultivation and Abadi area of above 3 villages as a part of Ambabarwa Sanctuary is yet to be issued.
Legal Status of Wan Sanctuary
The areas comprised in the Sanctuary are Reserve forests and cultivation land of ex-forest villages. The Reserve forests included in Wan Sanctuary were notified along with the other forests of Melghat forests of Amravati District as Reserve forests. An area of 205.86 sq.km of Reserve forest was declared as Wan Wildlife Sanctuary in 1997 as per section 26 (A) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 vide Govt. of Maharashtra Notification No.WLP/1097/CR-5/F-1 dated 29th July 1997. The private lands included in the Wan Sanctuary are 5.14 sq.km of cultivation and gaothan area of seven ex-forest villages. The intention to include these areas as part of Wan Sanctuary was made under section 18 (1) of Wildlife Protection Act 1972 vide Government of Maharashtra Notification No. WLP/1097/CR-5/F-1 dated 28th July 1997. Final notification to include these areas as a part of Sanctuary is yet to be issued.
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