Two new tiger reserves get in-principle approval

New Delhi: Government today said that in-principle approval has been given for creation of two new tiger reserves in the country while final nod has been accorded for giving the status to three other protected areas. Apart from that, Environment minister Prakash Javadekar said that concurrence has been accorded for creation of four more elephant reserves, including two in Odisha.

"Concurrence has been accorded for creation of four more elephant reserves (two in Odisha, one in Meghalaya and one in Chattissgarh). "In-principle approval has been accorded by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for creation of two new tiger reserves and the sites are Ratapani (Madhya Pradesh) and Sunabeda (Odisha)," Javadekar told Rajya Sabha in a written reply.

"Final approval has been accorded to Kudremukh (Karnataka), Rajaji (Uttarkhand) and Bor (Maharashtra) for declaring as tiger reserve," he said. He said that the state governments have been advised to send proposals for declaring Suhelwa (UP), Guru Ghasidas National Park (Chhattissgarh), Mhadei Sanctuary (Goa), Srivilliputhur Grizzled Giant Squirrel/ Megamalai Wildlife Sanctuaries/ Varushanadu Valley (TN) and Dibang Wildlife Sanctuary (Arunachal Pradesh) as tiger reserves.

Presently there are 46 tiger reserves in the country spread over 18 states encompassing a total area of 68518.8 sq km while there are 28 elephant reserves in the country, the House was told. He said that out of total allocation of Rs 32.58 crore in 2013-14, Rs 18.43 has been disbursed to various states under Project Elephant. Similarly, the entire amount of Rs 172.29 crore allocated for Project Tiger for 2013-14 has been disbursed to states, he said.

He said the recent stepa for protection of tiger include implementing a tripartite MoU with tiger states, linked fund flow for effective implementation of tiger conservation initiatives and sending of special crack teams to tiger reserves affected by Left Wing Extremism. He said that the second round of country level tiger status assessment has been completed in 2010. Findings indicate an increase in tiger population estimate to 1706, lower and upper limits being 1520 and 1909 respectively.

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