Forest Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar has requested the Centre to reconsider the development of an airport near Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve.
Sudhir Mungantiwar/ File Photo
Sudhir Mungantiwar, Maharashtra's Forest Minister, has asked the Centre to reconsider the state's intention to develop an airport near the Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district. He told PTI that he had addressed all of the concerns raised by the National Board for Wildlife about the need for an airport at Chandrapur.
Mungantiwar emphasised the airport's usefulness in combating Naxalism while also encouraging tourism and industrial growth. The idea had already been accepted by the state government, which had allotted 500 acres of land in Murti village, Rajura assembly constituency, Chandrapur district. The forest department owns 76 acres of this land, which was approved by the state's forest ministry. The idea had been sent to the Centre for approval.
"The state government had cleared the proposal for the airport and also earmarked 500 acres of land in Murti village of Rajura assembly constituency (in Chandrapur district). Out of the 500 acres, 76 acres fall under the forest department and the state forest ministry gave a positive response. The proposal was sent to the Centre for clearance," he was quoted as saying in the PTI report.
However, the Centre suggested the possibility of expanding the district's current Morva airport. Mungantiwar stated that expansion was not a viable option, stated a rep. When questioned if there were alternatives to the chosen airport site and if it was within 150 kilometres of the Nagpur airport, affecting the tiger habitat, Mungantiwar stated that the tiger habitat was 80 kilometres away, while the Nagpur airport was 190 kilometres away. He went on to say that there was no other suitable place for the airport save the one previously designated.
Recently, Maya, the most photographed tigress has been missing from Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve. Born in December 2010, the tigress has been continuously captured in systematic camera trap exercises since 2014 and was last captured on camera traps during the phase IV exercise from March to May 2023. She was last spotted in August 2023 by TATR patrolling staff in the Panchdhara area near Tadoba Lake.
After spotting the remains of a tiger, the officials sent them for a DNA test and told the media that whether the bones were Maya's or not could be confirmed only after the test reports were received.