MadhyaPradesh government has said it is not certain about exact number of tigers in the state and needs Rs 3,600 crores to relocate villages from tiger reserves. The state which has reported dwindling number of tigers during the last decade has now “only 288 tigers in all its six tiger reserves”.
The state has relocated 14 villages during the last year from tiger reserves. Two years ago the requirement stood at Rs 3,200 crores for relocation of villages. The state already has lost its record of most number of tigers to Karnataka which has, according to the last census of tigers, 300 tigers.
State Forests Minister Dr Gaurishankar Shejwar said today, there are 78 tigers in Kanha Tiger Reserve, 72 in Bandhavgarh of them 16 are cubs, 45 in Pench and 30 in Panna. The number of tigers has gone up from zero to thirty, the minister said. Besides, the minister said, Sanjay Gandhi Tiger Reserve has 10 tigers. More tigers, Shejwar further said, are in different areas but the exact number is not known.
“You cannot ask tigers to come and queue up for the census,” the minister quipped, when asked about the exact number of tigers and reason as to why state is losing tigers. On poaching and death of tigers, the minister said the statelost 11 tigers during the last year. During the last tiger census, the numberof tigers in this state had gone down to 257 from 300 in 2006.
According to the last count, Karnataka was home to 300 striped animals. On relocation of villages in tiger reserves and national parks the minister said, “We need Rs 3,600 crore to relocate all villages.” There are 125 villages which need to be relocated from the tiger sanctuaries and parks.
The state had earlier demand Rs 3,200 crore from the central government but it has received hardly Rs 50 crore. “This year we have relocated 14 villages,” the minister said, “the relocation of villages will give us outcome in two-three years. Relocation of villages from the parks and sanctuaries is a tough task due to various social, political and financial reasons”
“State has to depend upon own funds as Union ministry of environment and forest budget isvery small in comparison to our demands for relocation of villages,” a highly-placed source told Business Standard. Each unit of a family requires Rs 10 lakh compensation as golden hand-shake or land against land. “At an average we need minimum Rs 30 lakh per family,” the official said.