New Delhi: Rajasthan's Ranthambore and Madhya Pradesh's Bandhavgarh and Panna are among 16 reserves whose tiger conservation plans have not been approved by National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
Preparation of tiger conservation plan is a legally mandated obligation on the part of state governments to get annual grant for conservation of big cats. Out of 48 tiger reserves, tiger conservation plans for 32 have been approved and 16 others not, the NTCA said in reply to an RTI query filed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey.
The tiger conservation plan of Ranthambore and Mukundra Hills (both in Rajasthan), Bandhavgarg, Panna, Sanjay-Dubri (all in MP), Kaziranga and Manas (Assam), Indravati (Chhattisgarh), Satkosia (Odisha), Tadoba-Andhari, Nawegaon- Nagzira and Bor in Maharashtra, Sathyamangalam (Tamil Nadu), Rajaji (Uttarakhand), Buxa (West Bengal), and Pilibhit in Uttar Pradesh have not been approved, it said.
The NTCA has been requesting the state governments concerned to submit tiger conservation plans and in one of the letters it has said that budgetary allocation shall not be made for 2016-17 in absence of the approved plan.
"It is very serious matter that state government are not doing enough to save tiger. The tiger conservation plan is very important for conservation of big cats. I will be approaching Environment Ministry and request it to take action against defaulting states," Dubey said.
The NTCA has cited a ruling by Supreme Court in a case filed by Dubey saying non-timely submission of the plan may invite the contempt of the court proceedings.
As per a latest report on tiger, there are about 2,226 big cats in various tiger reserves of the country, up from 1,706 in 2010 and 1,411 in 2006 census.