Tiger reserves in country going Panna way, rues Ramesh


Bhopal : Union Minister of State for Environment and Forest Jairam Ramesh Friday said most of the tiger reserves in the country are in a bad shape and are going Panna and Sariska reserves way, which have no tigers left.

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Ramesh, who was in this Madhya Pradesh capital for the seventh convocation of the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM), said condition of only nine, of the 39 Project Tigers Reserves in the country, was good while 12 needed improvement and 18 were akin to Panna and Sariska.

The minister, however, said the actual situation would come to light after the results of tiger census which would be available by November. “The count would be over 1,400,” he added.

On the demand of the state’s Forest Minister Sartaj Singh for a Central Bureau of Investigation probe into disappearance of tigers, Ramesh said, “A decision in this regard would be taken only after seeing the state’s report”.

Denying the charge that his ministry was blocking the national highway projects, Ramesh said his ministry has cleared 98 percent of national highway projects.

“We have not approved only those cases where the project passes through tiger corridor or dense forest area,” he said.

The minister said that soon National Green Tribunals – specialised courts for trying cases under environment and forest laws – would be set up in the country.

“They will be akin to circuit-bench of the courts which would be set up in four parts of the country, including Bhopal. Any person would be able to file cases related to environment and forest in these tribunals,” he said.