Worried PM to raise tiger death issue with states
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Last Updated: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 19:02
New Delhi: Concerned over tiger deaths in reserves across the country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has decided to personally take up the matter with state governments, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh said on Saturday.

The prime minister expressed his concern regarding tiger deaths in the reserves during the meeting of National Board for Wildlife held on Thursday, Ramesh told reporters here.

Pointing to 60 tiger deaths last year, the minister said "a conspiracy" has been hatched by mining and estate mafia with the support of some politicians.

"The prime minister has agreed to lend weight of his office for monitoring state governments. He will also take up the matter with the chief ministers of various states, particularly Uttarakhand government about unnatural tiger deaths in Corbett National Park," he said.

"It is a great cause of worry that 60 tigers died last year against the average mortality of 30 reported in the past. These are not accidents.

"It is a conspiracy hatched by mining and estate mafia supported by politicians who will be benefited by eliminating tigers. They want the land for mining and construction purpose," Ramesh said when asked about the reasons for the tiger deaths.

As per recent official estimates, there are about 1,400 big cats across the 37 tiger reserves in the country, a sharp decline from 10,000 reported a decade ago.

According to Ramesh, at least 18 tiger reserves are in a precarious situation with tiger populations nearing extinction. The government has initiated a process of moving out local communities from tiger reserves by providing financial package of Rs 10 lakh to each family.


First Published: Saturday, March 20, 2010, 19:02

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