New Delhi: Making it clear that there would be no let up in efforts to save tigers, the Supreme Court Thursday asked the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) to file a status report on the states that have submitted conservation plans for approval following a direction last year.
"We have assumed jurisdiction on behalf of tigers as nobody is interested in them," a bench of Justice A.K.Patnaik and Justice M.Y. Eqbal said.
The court asked Additional Solicitor General Indira Jaising to file a status report on which state governments had complied with its Oct 16, 2012, directions for preparing a tiger conservation plan (TCP) for the NTCA`s approval.
By the order, the court, while lifting ban on tourism-related activities in core areas of tiger reserves, had asked the concerned state governments to prepare conservation plans within six months.
As some applicants wanted to make submission in respect of the guidelines issued by the NTCA Oct 15, 2012, Justice Patnaik then said that anyone who is aggrieved by the said guidelines can move the court challenging them.
Meanwhile, the court gave Madhya Pradesh government another six months time to prepare a TCP for its Panna Tiger Reserve.
Appearing for the Madhya Pradesh government, senior counsel Vivek Tankha told the court that tigers were reintroduced in Panna and entire wild life department staff including its field director were involved in the protection of grown-up cubs and the reintroduced tigers.
The court was told that it was "very difficult" for the field director to prepare a meaningful TCP for the reserve - spread over 1578.551 square km that includes core as well as buffer zones -within the stipulated time period.
Since it was a time consuming exercise, the state government urged the court to grant it another six months time. The court was informed that Madhya Pradesh government had already submitted TCPs for its other five tiger reserves.