Ramesh announces Rs. 200 crore for tiger relocation programmes in MP

April 17th, 2011 - 1:13 pm ICT by ANI  

Manmohan Singh Panna (Madhya Pradesh), Apr 17 (ANI): Minister of State for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh has announced Rs. 200 crore for village relocation programmes in Madhya Pradesh for establishing buffer zones in tiger reserves across the country.

Ramesh said the ministry would financially assist the state, even as he expressed his discontentment over the Ken-Betwa River linking project, saying that it would destroy the Panna Tiger Reserve

“We are trying to help the Madhya Pradesh government with about 200 crore rupees and the relocation programmes of three villages are left - Panna, Kanha and Bandhavgarh, and today I have said that we would be allocating 200 crore rupees to the state government for village relocation programmes,” Ramesh told reporters, while on a tour in the reserve on Saturday.

He also praised the relocation programmes that the reserve was carrying out.

Ramesh said the ministry would not give clearance for the Ken-Betwa River link project and that he has briefed the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and Union Water Resources Minister Salman Khursheed, on its disadvantages.

“I have spoken to Salman Khursheed and I have also written a letter to the Prime Minister that if the Ken-Betwa river link is constructed then this Panna tiger sanctuary will be destroyed. Because 60 square kilometer and about 10 percent area, though the area seems less, but the prime habitat will be destroyed,” said Ramesh.

“Yes, there is a need for rail link in Panna and we will try aiming for it but Ken-Betwa river link is a threat to this sanctuary and our ministry will not agree to it,” he added.

The project is estimated to cost over 90 billion rupees and is expected to be included in the 12th Five-Year Plan.

Tigers had become extinct in the reserve two years ago and to revive it, three tigresses and a tiger were translocated into the reserve. Two tigresses have given birth to around five cubs. (ANI)

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