New Delhi: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today met Union Environment and Forest Minister Jayanthi Natarajan and sought her intervention to cope up with the fallout of a recent Supreme Court directive banning tourism in core areas of tiger reserves across the country.
During the meeting, the Chief Minister urged her to intervene in the matter saying the apex court verdict would affect livelihoods of thousands of persons dwelling in and around the forest covers.
Chouhan said that livelihood protection of local inhabitants is as important as wildlife conservation.
He said that tourist activities in forests reserves and wildlife sanctuaries will not affect wildlife and forests.
The CM of the BJP ruled state said people residing in 108 of the total 831 villages, which come under forest cover areas, are ready to shift to some other place.
He also requested the Central Government to provide appropriate funds for resettling villagers at the earliest.
Hearing a public interest litigation (PIL) filed by Bhopal-based conservationist Ajay Dubey, the Supreme Court on July 24 held that there shall be no tourism activity in any of the core zones of tiger reserves.
Madhya Pradesh has the highest of six tiger reserves -- Panna, Kanha, Bandhavgarh, Satpuda, Pench and Sanjay.
Chouhan also urged the Union Minister to give early clearance to power and irrigation related projects awaiting clearance from the Centre.
The Chief Minister is in the national capital to participate in an industrialists meet tomorrow especially organised by the State Government to seek investment in Madhya Pradesh.