Tripartite pact on Project Tiger
GUWAHATI, Aug 20 – State Environment and Forest Minister Rockybul Hussain today informed that the State has entered into a tripartite agreement involving the National Park Authority and the Central Government for the implementation of the Project Tiger Foundation in the State. Assam is among the five States of the country to have entered into such an agreement.
The Project Tiger is being implemented at Kaziranga, Nameri and Manas national parks of the State.
Under the said project, Rs 6.46 crore has been sanctioned for relocation of over 900 families based in forest villages of the Manas National Park and Rs 51 lakh for other developmental purposes of the park.
Similarly, Rs 1.56 crore has been sanctioned for Kaziranga National Park and Rs 17 lakh for Nameri reserve forest.
The Forest Minister, while addressing a press conference, also informed that the Central Government has been approached for similar conservation project for the one-horned rhino.
Hussain also claimed that the State has not recorded any tiger poaching incident expect one suspected poaching case where the animal was suspected to be poisoned to death.
”We have recovered the carcass of the tigers in intact manner and hence, we have grounds to assume that poaching has not taken place,” the Minister asserted, adding that most of tiger deaths were due to old age and infighting.
Hussain also informed that the density of tiger population could be as high as 24 tigers per 100 sq / km as per the preliminary findings of a survey on tiger population being carried out by independent agencies including Aranyak.
An average of 17 to 19 tigers per 100 sq / km is accepted to be satisfactory.
The Minister went on to inform that amendment into the Wild Life Protection Act has also been sought from the departments concerned to further tighten the legal noose on the poachers.
He also stated that a second battalion of Assam Forest Protection Force is also being raised exclusively to counter wildlife crimes.
The Minister also divulged that the Centre, in principle, has agreed to provide assistance for protection and cleaning of Bharalu and Kolong River and the State Government would engage IITG to prepare a detailed project report for the same.
“If required, assistance of experts from outside would also be sought,” the Minister added.