Ramesh hints at Panna-like danger in 18 Tiger Reserves
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Last Updated: Friday, April 02, 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 02, 2010, 15:39


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