Ramesh hints at Panna-like danger in 18 Tiger Reserves

Last Updated: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 15:39

Bhopal: A situation akin to Panna and
Sariska reserves, where big cats disappeared, can arise at 18
tiger parks across the country if they are not protected in a
proper manner, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh Friday
warned.

"There are 39 Project Tigers Reserves in the country
and among them, the condition of only nine is good, 12 need
improvement and in 18 Panna or Sariska can happen anytime,"
Ramesh told reporters after the seventh convocation ceremony
at the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM).

Both Panna and Sariska were in the news following
disappearance of tigers from the reserve.

"There is certainly a conspiracy by mining and
poaching mafia to kill big cats so that the land gets
denotified and then they can turn it into a real estate or use
it for mining," he said.

When asked to identify some of these reserves, he said
that besides Panna in Madhya Pradesh such a threat also exists
in Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and
Maharashtra among others.

To a question on handing over the case of disappearance
of tigers from Panna reserve to the CBI, Ramesh said he is
awaiting the report of the committee formed by the state
government and only after going through its findings a
decision can be taken.

The Minister said it is not necessary to handover
everything to CBI. "Once we get the report, we will take a
decision on the issue."

On the issue of shifting of lions from Gujarat`s Gir
Forest to Madhya Pradesh, he said the Centre wanted to make
another habitat for lions.

As part of that plan, the Centre had asked the Gujarat
Government to give lions to Madhya Pradesh, he said.

The plan is still there and since both are BJP-ruled
states they can also pursue the matter.

He also said the Centre has granted Rs 50 crore to
Gujarat for the extension of Gir reserve, but it wanted one
more habitat in the country for their conservation.

PTI



First Published: Friday, April 2, 2010 - 15:39

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