15 Feb 2008, 1348 hrs IST,PTI
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NEW DELHI: Notwithstanding the decline in the tiger population in the country, state governments have shown “little interest” in implementing the steps directed by the Centre to protect the endangered species.
“It is a matter of concern that states are not bothered about saving the big cat in the wild which are on a vanishing trail,” Rajesh Gopal, member Secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority said.
It has been more than two years since states were asked to set up the steering committee for ensuring coordination, monitoring and protection of tigers but majority are yet to do so.
So far only Assam, Arunachal Pradesh and Mizoram have constituted the committees as required under Section 38U of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 as amended in 2006.
Except Kerala, Karnataka and Arunachal Pradesh, none of the states have set up Tiger Conservation Foundation despite several reminders to expedite the process.
“Establishing a TCF is required under Section 38 X of the Wildlife (Protection) Amendment Act 2006, in each tiger reserve to facilitate and support tiger reserve management,” he explained.
As the states have not delineated core and buffer areas to ensure survival of the tiger, the fate of the proposed Tiger Conservation Plan is also hanging in the balance.
The delay may lead to further dwindling of the number of striped cats.
“Only when we receive the conservation plan we would be able to release the fund. We have told the states that there is no shortage of funds,” said the official from NTCA which was set up at the behest of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Tiger conservation plan for each tiger reserve has to specify delineated core and buffer areas, incorporating strategies for wildlife conservation in the core and management in the buffer areas.
“It would facilitate better movement of the striped animals as well prevent man-animal conflicts. But none of the 17 tiger range states have so far notified the buffer zone around the tiger reserves,” Gopal said adding the direction in this regard was issued to the states in November last year.
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