Tiger conservation head to report on science project in tiger reserve

Tiger conservation head to report on science project in tiger reserve

PTI 3 November 2009, 07:31pm IST

NEW DELHI: Rajesh Gopal, who heads the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), will soon submit a report on ecological impact of a proposed Rs 900-crore mega science project in a tiger reserve in Tamil Nadu which has drawn flak from the green brigade.

Gopal had visited the proposed site for Neutrino Observatory (INO) in Tamil Nadu’s Mudumalai Tiger Reserve at Masinagudi yesterday in the backdrop of opposition from wildlife experts who alleged the project would endanger the elephant and tiger habitat.

“The member secretary will soon submit a report to the environment minister Jairam Ramesh who after studying it has plans to visit the location,” a senior official in the ministry said.

There have been strong opposition from the green lobby to the chosen site which is a buffer zone of Mudumalai Tiger Reserve and the Nilgiri Biosphere Reserve.

The Observatory, planned to be built a kilometre under the surface, will be connected to the outside world by a 2 km-tunnel. It would be funded by the department of atomic energy, department of science and technology and UGC.

More than 50 scientists from about 15 institutes and universities have promoted the INO believing that neutrinos hold the key to several important and fundamental questions on the origin of the universe and energy production in stars.

However, animal welfare activists have objected to the project with NTCA member and BJP MP Maneka calling it as “an ill-conceived idea just to keep some of the retired scientists busy.”



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