The Askot Musk Deer Sanctuary, established in 1986, was established to protect the endangered Musk Deer and its habitat. Perched at an elevation of 1600 meters, Askot Sanctuary covers a sprawling 600 square kilometers and is home to an abundance of flora and fauna. The sanctuary is located in Askot, a small hamlet in Uttarakhand’s Pithoragarh district.
Why in news?
• The Uttarakhand State Wildlife Advisory Board recently approved proposals to transfer forest land within Gangotri National Park for road development.
• The decision comes amid an impasse between India and China over the Ladakh Line of Actual Control (LAC).
• These proposals require the transfer of a total of 73.36 hectares of forest land in three different locations within Gangotri National Park in order to construct separate roads totaling 35.66 kilometers in length.
• Gangotri National Park is a protected area, with forest land chosen for its proximity to China’s international border.
• These routes are critical for national security because they will make it significantly easier for Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) personnel to move near the China border.
• Proposals for land transfers for these roads will now be submitted to the National Wildlife Board.