Sunday, March 11, 2007

19 villages still inside India's Melghat Tiger Reserve

Posted on : Fri, 09 Mar 2007 19:04:01 GMT
Author : Indo Asian News Service

New Delhi, March 9 Three of the 22 villages inside the Melghat Tiger Reserve of Maharashtra have been relocated, Minister of State for Environment and Forests Namo Narain Meena said Friday.

Out of a total of 22 villages situated in the sanctuary consisting of 788.75 sq. km of the reserve, three villages have already been relocated, Meena said.

'An amount of Rs. 63 lakhs (Rs.6.3 million) has been provided under the centrally sponsored scheme of Project Tiger to the state for relocation of 3 more villages,' the minister informed the Rajya Sabha.

The recent amendments to Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 provides for the relocation process, to benefit the people being relocated as well as to maintain inviolate areas for wild animals.

He further said that Rs.9.31 million, Rs. 16.5 million and Rs.13.45 million were released for the years 2004-05, 2005-06 and 2006-07 respectively.

An area of 526.92 sq. km area of the tiger reserve is being managed as multiple used areas.

Melghat Tiger Reserve is located on southern offshoot of the Satpura Hill Range of Maharashtra and is home to over 70 tigers.

Shrinking forest cover in the face of expansion of human habitation and farming activities have resulted in man-animal conflict in many parts of the country in which the rate of wildlife attrition is high in the country. The wildlife protection act seeks to stop human encroachment into forests to allow wildlife a safe and natural habitat.

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