PRESS TRUST OF INDIA
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
New Delhi, December 12: Funds for conservation and checking poaching of tigers and several other wild animals have been increased this year, whereas for elephants the allocation has been slashed, according to Union Environment and Forests Ministry.
For conservation of tigers under 'Project Tiger', the Ministry increased its funding to different states by 36 per cent allocating Rs 33.46 crore this year, up from Rs 246.4 million last year.
The increase in allocation for tiger conservation comes in the wake of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh personally visiting Ranthambhore National Park last year, following reports that tigers were on the verge of extinction. A Tiger Task Force was formed under direct supervision of Singh.
For the development of national parks and sanctuaries, the ministry increased its funds by more than 11 per cent from 478 mn released last year to 532 mn in the current.
Among other states and union territories, for the first time Delhi too has been provided with a Rs 19.50 lakh fund for wildlife protection.
However, the protection of pachyderms under Project Elephant received a jolt as its funding decreased from Rs 133.4 mn last year to Rs 115.1 mn this year, down by 13.7 per cent.
Significantly, demands for funds from Assam for the Project Elephant has dropped from Rs 13.0 mn last year to Rs 40 lakh this year.
As part of its ongoing conservation plan, the government is also planning to open eight more sanctuaries for tigers and three for the elephants.