March 25th, 2008 – 10:17 pm
New Delhi, March 25 (IANS) The Planning Commission Tuesday approved Rs. 141.82 billion as the plan outlay for Madhya Pradesh, including Rs. 1.5 billion for special projects like preserving tigers in the state during the 2008-09 fiscal. The outlay was approved at a meeting between Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan and the Planning Commission deputy chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia.
According to the state officials, the funds of Rs. 1.5 billion would mainly be spent on the initiatives for preserving tigers.
“Rs. 1.5 billion will be spent on the tiger preservation and other projects of special importance for the state,” an official, who did not like to be named, told IANS.
There are nine national parks – including the famous Kanha National Park – and 25 sanctuaries spread over an area of 10,862 square km constituting 11.40 percent the state’s total forest area.
“Efforts are also underway to increase the protected area network to 15 percent of the forest or 5 percent of the geographical area as suggested by the State Wildlife Board,” the official said.
As per the population estimates of 2003, there are 712 tigers and 1,090 panthers in the state.
Ahluwalia said the government needed to pay more attention on human development through initiatives aimed at creating investor friendly environment in the state.
“The government should avail benefits available under various social sector schemes, and special attention should be given to the schemes meant for Bundelkhand area,” Ahluwalia said.
Bundelkhand area in Madhya Pradesh is constantly faced with the problem of drought and the backwardness on all fronts.
“Livelihood opportunity will be created through generating economic activities based on natural resources. A number of new initiatives like Mukhya Mantri Mazdoor Surakhsah Yojana,” Chauhan said.
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