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Govt to check feasibility of setting up tiger reserve

Govt to check feasibility of setting up tiger reserve

13 Feb 2020 No comment 21 hits

Panaji: Awaiting the report from the National Tiger Conservation Authority over setting up of a tiger reserve in the state, Chief Minister Pramod Sawant said that feasibility of setting up such a reserve in Goa will be checked.

“It is easy to make a report recommending tiger reserve project, however we need to also think of people residing in forest areas,” he said on the sidelines of a function held to inaugurate the newly-built   Goa Van Bhawan at Altinho. 

The Chief Minister said that he will see if the department of forest has officially received the NTCA report and after receiving it take any related decision on its recommendation.

The NTCA in its report had recommended upgradation of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary to a tiger reserve, and observed that the protected area could become a deathtrap if not managed properly.

Stating that he has directed the officials of the department of forest to ensure friendly relations with those living in the forest areas, Sawant said the government is trying to shift people living in the interior forest areas to nearby villages.

“We will also demarcate and fence the borders of the wildlife sanctuaries,” Sawant pointed out, maintaining that 80 per cent of the problems of people residing in or near wildlife sanctuaries would end after taking this step.

He maintained that the recent incident, in which four tigers were killed by villagers, was out of the control of the government. 

The Chief Minister was speaking after the inauguration of Goa Van Bhawan, newly-built premises for the department of forest, at Altinho.

Sawant said the government felt the need to conduct forest-related research and therefore would be setting up a forest research centre at Valpoi.

He also admitted that the Bondla Wildlife Sanctuary has been neglected, and would soon be promoted as a tourist destination. Sawant, who holds the forest portfolio, also said the government will preserve the medicinal plants in the Goan forests with the help of State Medicinal Plants Board-Goa.

“We will shortlist these traditional medicines growing in the forest and provide licences to people to go in the sanctuary for the collection,” he mentioned, pointing out that there are 60 such basic traditional medicinal plants growing in the forest and if not collected, they go to waste.

It was also informed that the government is in the process of identifying tracks in the Mhadei, Netravali and Cotigao Wildlife sanctuaries for trackers, as well as chart out tracking programmes by taking the local residents into confidence.

A trackers register would also be maintained.

The Chief Minister further said the government is organising bird festivals in Goa successfully. 

Earlier, the Chief Minister gave away 24 motorcycles to forest guards.

Speaking on the occasion, principal chief conservator of forests Subhash Chandra said that these motorcycles would help the forest guards in their mobility and response to emergencies.

The Goa State Infrastructure Development Corporation has completed the Goa Van Bhawan project at a cost of Rs 18.50 crore.

Vice-chairman of GSIDC and Mapusa MLA Joshua Peter De Souza, speaking on the occasion said that the building is fitted with solar panels, which would generate 30 per cent excess power.

 “Any surplus power generated would go to the grid,” he added.

Source: Govt to check feasibility of setting up tiger reserve

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