Maharashtra govt approves sixth tiger reserve in state

Feb 21, 2014, 08:07 IST | Ravikiran Deshmukh

The Bor tiger project in Nagpur and Wardha districts of Vidarbha region got a stamp of approval from the CM

The state government played a wild card yesterday to satisfy nature lovers, as it gave its approval for the Bor tiger reserve, the sixth such project in the state. In a meeting held at Mantralaya, the state board for wildlife also approved a plan worth Rs 110 crore to construct pass-throughs on canals located within tiger reserves and sanctuaries. This will enable wild animals to move from one area to another.

Headed by chief minister Prithviraj Chavan, the wildlife body, which has forest minister Dr Patangrao Kadam as its vice-chairman, met for the first time after its last congregation was held in January 2013. The decision to construct the pass-throughs was long pending, as neither the water resources department that undertakes irrigation projects, nor the state forest department was allocating funds for the cause.

As a result, wild animals were finding it difficult to cross the canals, leading to conflicts with locals. Now, with the construction of pass-throughs, the animals will get a wider area to move from one zone to the other, said Praveensingh Pardeshi, principal secretary of the forest department.

Maharashtra is going to be the first state that will have special pass-throughs on canals for animals, he added. The state board has approved the extra funds for the water resources department to enable construction of the facilities for the animals.

The Bor tiger project in Nagpur and Wardha districts of Vidarbha region got a stamp of approval from the CM, who signed its notification. The five existing tiger reserves are Tadoba-Andhari, Melghat, Pench, Sahyadri and Nagzira.

An important decision was also taken to release 2-3 per cent water from dams during summer. Even if a dam has insufficient stock, the water will be released from the dead stock. It will be discharged into rivers that pass through protected forests.

Animals are mostly dependent on river water and find it difficult to locate alternate sources during summer, which results in their forays into nearby villages, said Pardeshi, adding that many a time, crops are also damaged in the process, leading to man-animal conflicts.

Allocation of forest land for widening of NH-17
“The state board has also approved widening of the Mumbai-Goa highway (NH-17) that passes through Karnala bird sanctuary. The project was pending for approval by the board. Now that it has been permitted, work will pick up speed,” said Praveensingh Pardeshi.

Rs 110 cr
Amount allocated for creating pass-throughs over canals in tiger reserves and sanctuaries

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