Project Tiger in danger as states fail to utilise funds
Juhi Chaudhary / CNN-IBN
Published on Sat, Sep 05, 2009 at 11:31
Updated on Sat, Sep 05, 2009 at 14:21
New Delhi: Almost 80 per cent of the tiger reserves across the country don’t even have a tiger conservation plan according to the documents available with CNN-IBN.
In spite of the attention showered on tigers they continue to be in trouble and till now 95 tigers have been killed in 2009.
Now documents available with CNN-IBN show just why the tiger is still in trouble.
Under the Wildlife Protection Act, it is mandatory for all states which have tigers to have a tiger conservation plan, a steering committee headed by the Chief Minister, and a buffer zones around each reserve to save the tigers that stray out of forest.
But 80 per cent of tiger reserves across India do not have a tiger conservation plan which is a vital tool for protecting the tiger.
Less than 50 per cent of tiger states have a steering committee or a tiger conservation foundation and in the last three years not one state has utilised funds fully released by Centre
The National Tiger Conservation Authority on its part, released funds worth over Rs 150 crore to the 17 tiger states last year.
But documents show that while the Centre may have fulfilled its duty, the state governments have lagged far behind
Project Tiger has been pumping the maximum amount of money into three states – Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan and Assam.
Yet Madhya Pradesh has not created any buffer zone for its tiger reserves. Rajasthan has no conservation plan, no steering committee, no funding mechanism and buffer zone. Assam, which has more than 350 tigers, hasn’t followed the required conditions as well.
The latest tiger census had pinned the country’s tiger population at just 1400.
Unless the state governments don’t get their act together, Project Tiger may just end up being a paper tiger.