Bhopal: It’s high time to declare protected areas for tigers: Environmentalists

Bhopal: Concerned over the movement of tigers near Bhopal, the environmentalists, even as they fight legal battle in the high court and NGT, have reiterated their demand for the protected areas for tigers. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) though has given a go ahead for making tiger reserve, the proposal is pending to declare Ratapani, including Ratapani and Singhori wildlife sanctuaries in Raisen and Sehore districts a tiger reserve.

The proposal for setting up a separate tiger reserve was taken up looking into the growing tiger population and also the incidents of big cats straying into Kerva and Kaliasote forests of Bhopal. NGT has already asked the state to present its stand on pending conservation efforts and proposals related to the protection of tigers in and around Bhopal with special reference to tigers of the Ratapani wildlife sanctuary.

Environmentalist and RTI activist Ajay Dubey said,“big cat has been sighted in Mendora. We have already demand that such areas should be declared protected areas but forest department officials are helpless as influential people have constructed their form house and villas. Wildlife (Protection) Act 1972 says the state government shall notify an area as “Tiger Reserve” on the recommendation of the tiger conservation authority.”

Environmentalist Dr SC Pandey said, “we cannot stopped tigers from coming in areas as it is actually their terrain. Well-off people have their bungalows and farms house in entire Kerwa Dam areas so it is problematic. People who are living there are in danger but they are influential so administration is helpless. We have long pending demands to declare protected areas in vicinity of Bhopal.”

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