– Master plan to be devised for Sariska Tiger Reserve
– Infrastructure facilities will be strengthened for development of tourism
Jaipur, May 2. Chief Minister Shri Ashok Gehlot said that the State Government is serious about the conservation of tigers. “Due to our effective policies, the number of tigers is constantly increasing,” he added. The number of tourists from around the world is increasing in Ranthambhore because of the effective implementation of ‘Tiger Project’ and ‘Eco-Tourism’ by the State Government. He said that a master plan for Sariska Tiger Project should also be prepared on the lines of Ranthambhore.
Shri Gehlot was addressing a meeting organised in regard to the management of Ranthambhore, Sariska and Mukundara Tiger Projects and Conservation of Tigers at his official residence on Monday. Officials informed that tiger population in Sariska has increased by two and a half times compared to 2014, due to which there has been a continuous increase in the number of wildlife enthusiasts and tourists.
While taking feedback on the conservation activities in Mukundra Hills Tiger Reserve, Shri Gehlot asked the officials to expedite village relocation work, improve prey base, and develop better habitat. It was informed in the meeting that some tigers have migrated to Dholpur and Karauli as the tiger population has breached the maximum capacity in Ranthambhore. Shri Gehlot directed the officials to take necessary steps for the protection of migrated tigers and their cubs.
Shri Gehlot said that the country is leading the world in tiger conservation. He praised the efforts of former Prime Minister Smt Indira Gandhi in implementing the Wildlife Protection Act 1972 and Project Tiger. He also praised the efforts of Shri Kailash Sankhala, the first director of Project Tiger.
Promote Voluntary Displacement
He said that apart from allotting agricultural land, arrangement has been made to allot residential land in urban areas as an alternative to give pace to voluntary displacement of villages which are inside the boundaries of the project. He directed that more and more villagers should be contacted and be apprised about this scheme. He also directed to strengthen security arrangements at Ranthambhore, Sariska and Mukundara Tiger Projects, make unpaved pathways in sensitive areas, increase the number of patrolling tracks and deploy additional security personnel at the check posts.
Increase the compensation for tiger attack victims
Shri Gehlot directed the officers to increase the compensation given for death or getting injured in the tiger attack. He said that it is the responsibility of the State Government to provide financial support to the family of the person killed in a tiger attack. Besides this, he also directed to increase compensation for cattle killed in tiger attacks as it is the only source of livelihood for most of the small farmers residing in the adjoining areas of tiger projects.
Boundaries of reserve projects should be ‘Silent Zone’
The Chief Minister said that for effective implementation of the tiger project it is necessary that the wildlife do not face any kind of problem. For this, he directed to declare the borders of the projects as silent zone and the concerned district collectors to issue advisory in this regard. He said that fair steps should be taken to stop activities such as loud music, laser shows and fireworks in the hotels at the borders adjoining such areas.
Lauds Fire fighting efforts
The Chief Minister lauded the efforts made to timely control the fire that recently broke out in the jungles of Sariska. He said that prompt steps taken by the department saved the lives of many wild animals.
Forest and Environment Minister Shri Hemaram Choudhary said that the department is constantly setting up new dimensions in providing better facilities in the tiger projects. He directed to build additional check posts in remote and sensitive areas for the security of tigers.
Annual Savings of Rs 44 lakh with Solar Pumps
Principal Secretary, Forest and Environment, Shri Shikar Agarwal said that there have been annual savings of approximately Rs 44 lakh due to solar arrangements made for drinking water in Ranthambhore project. Earlier, the department was bearing around Rs 65 lakh every year for running diesel pumps and tankers.
Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forests and Chief Wildlife Warden Shri Arindam Tomar said that special tiger protection force is functional in all three projects and more than 200 home guards have been employed against the vacant posts of forest guards. Besides this, continuous innovations are being made by the department to improve the water management in the projects.
Chief Secretary Smt Usha Sharma, Principal Secretary Finance Shri Akhil Arora, Principal Chief Forest Conservator (HoFF) Shri Deep Narayan Pandey, Mukundara, Sariska and Ranthambhore Tiger projects forest conservator and area directors, Alwar, Kota and Sawai Madhopur collectors and other senior officers of the forest department virtually attended the meeting