Nagpur to be promoted as tiger capital: Jairam

Union Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh on Friday complimented Maharashtra on the increase in tiger population in the State. Nagpur will be promoted as the tiger capital and a gateway to tiger land, he said.

Mr. Ramesh had a two-and-half-hour meeting with Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan and many senior officials from the Centre and State to arrive at critical decisions to develop infrastructure and tourism.

Thirteen of the country's 39 tiger reserves are in Maharashtra. New guidelines for eco tourism will be announced next week to boost tourism especially in Project Tiger areas, Mr. Ramesh said.

New reserves

New tiger reserves have been approved in the State at Nagzira-Navegaon and Bor.

Another major decision was to decentralise the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and set up three field offices and the first one would be opened in Nagpur. Mr. Ramesh said he would extend all assistance to help Nagpur emerge as a major eco tourism destination and the setting up of the NTCA office would be a step forward.

In addition, Rs.50 crore will be provided for resettlement of villages inside the Melghat and Tadoba tiger reserves.

He said he and Mr. Chavan would be inaugurating a project next week in Gadchiroli after the announcement by his Ministry that bamboo can now be treated a minor forest produce (MFP). The nodal agency would be the gram sabha and it would open a new era of the Forest Department working with the people.

For too long, the tribals have been perceived as enemies of the Forest Department and this had to change, he said. The paradigm of forest management had to undergo radical change and the tribals hade to be made partners in sustainable forest management. Rich minerals were present in the tribal areas, which were also prone to violence, and the Forest Department had a key role to play in the anti-Naxal operations, the Minister said.

Two major changes

The two major changes — making bamboo an MFP and mandatory permission of the gram sabhas for filing of cases by forest officials against tribals — would send signals on making tribals partners in forest management, he said.

According to Mr. Ramesh, Maharashtra is one of the few States where the man-animal conflict has been studied and there is a severe problem with the leopard population, which is reflected even in Mumbai which borders the Sanjay Gandhi National Park. Detailed guidelines evolved from the Maharashtra experience will be put up by the Ministry on Monday.

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Printable version | Jul 18, 2021 7:34:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/energy-and-environment/Nagpur-to-be-promoted-as-tiger-capital-Jairam/article14684470.ece

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