Bhopal: Opposing the Centre`s plan to convert Ratapani Wildlife Sanctuary into a tiger reserve, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan on Sunday said that it would call for shifting many villages.
"Madhya Pradesh is a tiger state. We are not averse to tiger and its protection. But we do not want it at the cost of the poor, especially tribals. Many villages will need to be shifted for turning Ratapani into a tiger reserve," Chouhan said at the 15th national conference of Akhil Bhartiya Adivasi Vikas Parishad here.
Chouhan said that Union Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh has been talking about turning Ratapani into Tiger Reserve but that would call for shifting large numbers of villages.
The land of tribals can not be taken away in Madhya Pradesh which has tough laws to check it, he added.
Listing several steps taken for the tribals, he said that 21 per cent of the state budget was earmarked for tribal development.