Karnataka says no to Centre`s tiger reserve proposals

The Karnataka government today shot down the Centre`s proposals to declare Kudremukh National Park as a tiger reserve and expansion of Bhadra Tiger Reserve.

Updated: Jul 26, 2012, 16:45 PM IST

Bangalore: The Karnataka government today shot down the Centre`s proposals to declare Kudremukh National Park as a tiger reserve and expansion of Bhadra Tiger Reserve, saying area earmarked for the big cats is already large in the state.

"The Centre had written to Karnataka to declare KNP as Tiger Reserve and also extend the areas of Tiger Reserve at Bhadra Wildlife ranges but the state has decided to reject the proposals...Area for tiger habitats is already large (in the state). Tiger population has also increased in the state," Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara told the legislative Assembly.

The minister pointed out that Karnataka already have five tiger reserves - Bandipur, Nagarahole, Anshi-Dandeli, Biligiri Ranganathaswamy Temple (BRT) range and Bhadra wildlife ranges.

A government order stating the state`s stand on opposing the proposals would be issued soon, he said.

Gopal Bhandari H (Congress) and Food and Civil Supplies Minister D N Jeevaraj also opposed the move and said he was reflecting the sentiments of the people of the region who are opposed to the move.

He said it was not right on the part of the Centre to pressure the state in a federal system.

M Raghupathi Bhat (BJP), who raised the matter during zero hour, said 1,500 tribal families in 142 villages would be impacted if tiger reserve were to come up there and wanted the government to reject the proposal.

Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh during his tenure as the Environment and Forest Minister had made a strong pitch for declaring KNP as a Tiger Reserve.

PTI