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Did MP ignore PM's recommendation on protecting tigers?

August 03, 2012 17:02 IST
Two years before the Supreme Court clamped on tourism inside the core areas of tiger reserves, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had written a letter to Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on the need to protect tigers in the state's forests.

A slew of measures including declaration of buffer areas of tiger reserves and constitution of a special force to protect the wild cats were suggested by the prime minister two years ago.

The PM in April 2010 had written to Chouhan emphasising on "urgent need" to secure tigers through concerted efforts, according to a copy of letter made public by RTI activist Ajay Dubey.

Efforts to get reaction from the chief minister's office did not bear fruit. Madhya Pradesh Forest Minister Sartaj Singh could not be contacted despite repeated attempts.

Singh had suggested steps, including regulation of tourism related commercial activities in the surrounding core areas of tiger reserves by declaring buffer areas of the reserves as ecologically sensitive and making the core or critical tiger habitats inviolate in a time bound manner by expediting relocation of human settlements with the enhanced relocation package of Project Tiger.

Besides, it was suggested that the government would step up protection of wild cats in a professional manner by constituting Special Tiger Protection Force and expedite the notification of buffer areas of tiger reserves vis-a-vis the provisions of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972.

While pressing for immediate steps, the PM had said, "The core or critical tiger habitats of tiger reserves have to be safeguarded immediately from several decimating factors like man-tiger conflicts, poaching and resource dependency of local people, while ensuring availability of forest areas in the fringes for the spill over population of wild animals."



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