Declare Nagzira as tiger reserve, urge conservationists
TNN, Aug 13, 2010, 06.38am IST
NAGPUR: With the high-powered state and NTCA committee expressing itself against diversion of land for expansion of Adani Power Maharashtra Limited (APML) in Tiroda, the old demand of declaring Nagzira a tiger reserve has emerged strongly from local naturalists as well as wildlife conservationists.
Greens from Bhandara and Gondia districts told TOI it was a decade-old demand and they would once again push for Nagzira as a new tiger reserve. The individuals and groups said they would now request MoEF ministerJairam Ramesh and PCCF (wildlife) to declare Nagzira as a tiger reserve.
"The 152 sq km Nagzira is rich in wildlife and has tigers. If adjoining Umarzari forest under the FDCM is added, it can be the best tiger reserve in the state. There are several natural water bodies and a habitat ideally needed for wild cats. The biggest advantage is that there are no villages to be relocated in Umarzari area," stressed Rajkamal Job, former honorary wildlife warden and chief of Bhandara Nisarg Mandal.
He felt that Adani power plant at Tiroda should not be expanded as it fell within critical distance of Nagzira and would be detrimental for it. Mukund Dhurve, chief of Gondia Nisarg Mandal, echoed the same feeling.
"If the reserve comes through, it will boost wildlife tourism in Gondia. Gondia-Bhandara MP Praful Patel should take initiative to convince Ramesh to declare Nagzira as state's 5th tiger reserve. We will write to the respective authorities," he opined.
Dhurve claimed presence of six tigers in Nagzira but a tiger reserve with appended area viz. Nagzira, Chorkhamara, Umarzari, Koka and Amgaon had potential to accommodate at least 18-20 tigers. He felt that four-laning of NH-6 had already caused damage to Nagzira-Navegaon corridor and expansion of Adani power plant should not be allowed at any cost.
On September 8, 2009, Ramesh has written to chief minister regarding submission of proposal of Nagzira tiger reserve. "There is a strong case to declare Nagzira a tiger reserve. We will renew this demand with Patel.
The Adani plant is close to the sanctuary from south side but whether it will affect Nagzira is a matter of study. Yet, it should be upgraded as a national park and subsequently a tiger reserve. The move will bring in more funds for tigers," said Sunil Dhote of Nagzira Foundation, Gondia. Prof Ashok Gaidhani of Global Nature Club, Sakoli, said repeated requests to create Nagzira tiger reserve had fallen on deaf ears.
"Administrative and political will is needed. We will push the demand once again with the committee going against Adani expansion," he said. "There should be a public hearing for further expansion of the power project where we will express views," he added.