Dispur delays panel on tigers
A STAFF REPORTER
Guwahati, June 9: Assam has yet to set up the tiger conservation foundation meant to help the state’s tiger reserves while its neighbour Aruna-chal Pradesh has already done it.
The Assam forest department has sent a draft cabinet memorandum to set up a tiger conservation foundation wh-ich would help the three tiger reserves in the state — Manas, Nameri and Kaziranga —get funds directly from the Centre under Project Tiger.
“Draft rules have been made and the matter is now with the legal department,” chief conservator of forests (wildlife), D.M. Singh, told The Telegraph.
The setting up of the tiger conservation foundation has been made mandatory by the National Tiger Conservation Authority to facilitate and support the management for conservation of tiger and bio-diversity and to take initiatives in eco-development by involvement of people in such development process.
The state legal department has been given a copy of the tiger conservation foundation notification issued by Arunachal Pradesh so as to help them know its details.
After the legal department gives the clearance, the matter will then go to the cabinet for discussion.
“The tiger reserves in the state suffer for lack of funds at the correct time,” a forest official said.
The reserves are now busy preparing the tiger conservation plan. “It is a very comprehensive document and it needs time,” Singh said.
There would be a governing body for the tiger foundation at the state level while the tiger reserves would have individual tiger conservation foundations.
The governing body of the foundation will have the state minister-in-charge of wildlife as president and 11 other members.
However, the accounts of the foundation shall be audited annually by a qualified chartered accountant or any agency approved by the governing body. “The audited accounts shall be placed before the governing body for discussion and approval and shall also be subjected to general provisions and directives of the Controller and Auditor General of India,” the forest official said.
The foundation will augment and mobilise the financial resources, including the recycling of entry and such other fees received in a tiger reserve, to foster stakeholder development and eco-tourism.
It will also have the power to receive contributions from both national and inter-national agencies for supporting specific projects.