Kaziranga tiger reserve deprived of direct flow of Central funds
Guwahati: The Assam government is yet to constitute the Kaziranga Tiger Foundation, due to which the tiger reserve has been deprived of the direct flow of funds from the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA). The reserve is also yet to have a full-fledged Tiger Conservation Plan.
The State is required to set up the foundation in accordance with the memorandum of understanding it signed with the NTCA.
A total of 1035 sq. km. area of the Kaziranga National Park and its Laokhowa and Burachapori additions were declared the country’s 29th tiger reserve in 2006.
Without the foundation, the raising of a dedicated tiger protection force, procurement of weapons and ammunitions for the force, setting up of anti-poaching camps and undertaking other protection and conservation work have been delayed.
There reserve has the highest density of tigers in the country, about 86.
The NTCA sanctioned Rs. 4.22 cr. for a scheme titled ‘Project Tiger’ in the reserve for 2008-09. The total Central assistance promised was Rs. 3.06 cr.
The balance of Rs.1.16 crore was to be borne by the State government.
The authority also released Rs. 1.5 cr. as the first instalment to the Kaziranga National Park authorities, currently managing the tiger reserve.
The NTCA told the State government that the amount should be utilised before the end of the financial year and unspent balance, if any, would be refunded to the Centre.