New Delhi, Sept. 10: A Rs. 5.8 crore project to save the magnificent Indian tiger from going the way of the dodo is to be launched on April 1 next year. The launching of the project has been rendered most urgent by the fact that a census of Indian tigers conducted in May and June this year has revealed that there are only 1827 tigers throughout the country as against an estimated 40,000 during the last century. The report on ‘Project Tiger’, prepared by a task force of experts, at the instance of the Prime Minister, Mrs. Indira Gandhi, was presented to her by Dr. Karan Singh, Union Minister of Tourism and Civil Aviation who is also the Chairman for the Indian Board for Wild Life. Mr. K.S. Sankhala, special officer for the project, who was a director for the Delhi Zoo and is an authority on tigers, explained the salient points of the project to pressmen. Under the conservation project of tigers, which will spread over six years from next April to the end of the Fifth Plan, eight areas in different States have been selected with a view to building up an optimum and viable tiger population. The chosen areas are: Manas Sanctuary in Assam; Palamau National Park in Bihar; Simlipal National Park in Orissa; Corbett National Park in Uttar Pradesh; Ranthambore Sanctuary in Rajasthan; Kanha National Park in Madhya Pradesh; Maighat Sanctuary in Maharashtra and Bandipur Sanctuary in Mysore. “Project Tiger” envisages a number of measures including provision of anti-poaching squads, prevention of grazing by cattle and collection of minor forest products, fire protection, and launching of research programmes in these areas.
(From the September 11, 1972 edition as there as no edition on September 12, 1972)