Bhopal: Proposal Moved To Declare One National Park, 2 Sanctuaries As Tiger Reserves

Bhopal: Proposal Moved To Declare One National Park, 2 Sanctuaries As Tiger Reserves

Nauradehi Sanctuary of Sagar district has an adequate number of tigers and is fully suitable to be declared as a tiger reserve.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Saturday, August 19, 2023, 11:42 PM IST
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Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): The forest department has sent a proposal to the state government to declare one national park and two sanctuaries as Tiger Reserves. Moreover, in the recent past, the state government had turned down the proposal to declare the Sunewani Reserve Forest (Balaghat) as a sanctuary after villagers raised strong objections.

The principal chief conservator of forest wildlife Aseem Shrivastava told Free Press that a proposal has been forwarded to the state government to declare Nauradehi Sanctuary, Madhav National Park and Ratapani Sanctuary as tiger reserves.

Nauradehi Sanctuary of Sagar district has an adequate number of tigers and is fully suitable to be declared as a tiger reserve. It currently has at least 24 tigers and is rich in flora and fauna, besides it has a good prey base for herbivores.

In Ratapani Sanctuary, the population of tiger is growing at a fast pace. JS Chouhan, PCCF (Production) and earlier served as PCCF wildlife talking to Free Press said Ratapani Sanctuary has more than eighty tigers and deserves to be declared as a tiger reserve. On the contrary, Madhav National Park has only 3 tigers even though it has been proposed for tiger reserve status. “There are many national parks in the country which were turned into the tiger reserve despite having a fewer number of felines,” said a senior forest officer pleading anonymity.

As of now, there are six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh and if the state gets three more such reserves the count will go to nine.

Forest officers said there is a vast difference between a national park and Tiger Reserve. Under national park, focus is on areas of biological importance. In Tiger Reserves, the entire focus is on tigers and they get more funding to carry forward the tiger project.

As far as sanctuaries are concerned then there are total 24 sanctuaries in the state. The proposal related to declaration of Sonewani Reserved Forest Area as a sanctuary hit the stone wall due to the strong opposition from the villagers and intervention of local politicians.

“ The locals feared that if Sonewani Reserved Forest gets declared as a sanctuary then they will not be able to go inside the jungles and their villages will get relocated. Government succumbed under the pressure of the locals who also have the support of politicians,” said a forest officer posted in the Balaghat range.

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