Draft rules ready for state Tiger Foundation
Sanjeev Kumar Verma, TNN, Feb 26, 2010, 07.39am IST
PATNA: Bihar has set the ball rolling for setting up a Tiger Foundation. The foundation would oversee projects related to the state's Valmiki Tiger Reserve and coordinate with different agencies, both government and non-government, for mobilising funds for the reserve.
According to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) mandate, states having tiger reserves have to set up a foundation which, apart from playing a supervisory role, would also play an advisory role for improving the condition of the tiger reserves falling under its jurisdiction.
Having received funds from NTCA in November last year after signing an MoU with it in September the same year, the state would have to complete the process of setting up the foundation by April this year.
"We have already drafted rules for running the foundation," a senior environment and forest department official told TOI. After approval from the department bosses, the draft rules would be sent to the law department for approval before being adopted.
"We have proposed ten members in the foundation board with department minister as its chairman and the tiger reserve director as its member- secretary," the official said.
The draft rules also propose nomination of people's representatives residing near the reserve area as the foundation members so that they too could have a say in the decision-making process regarding the tiger reserve. "It's a must as no plan of habitat development can be successful without their cooperation," a Valmiki Tiger Reserve field official said.
He said steps taken for habitat development fail to give desired results as locals don't pay much heed to the directives of field officials and take their cattle to the reserve area for grazing purpose, thus damaging the reserve fauna. "Things would be different if their representatives say so as they would consider such advices coming from their own community and not from the department," added the official.