Goa activists happy with Jairam’s tiger reserve initiativeJune 29th, 2011 - 12:15 pm ICT by IANS
Panaji, June 29 (IANS) Green activists in Goa have welcomed Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh’s initiative in asking the state government for a proposal to upgrade the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary to a tiger reserve.
“It’s very heartening to hear that the centre wants the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary to be upgraded to a tiger reserve. All our hardwork has paid off. The tiger will now officially rule the jungle in Goa,” environmental activist Tallulah D’Silva told IANS.
In a letter addressed to Chief Minister Digambar Kamat, Ramesh said there was “evidence to show that tigers in Goa are not merely transient animals but are a resident population as well”.
He has asked Kamat to expeditiously submit a proposal to the environment ministry for setting up of Goa’s only tiger sanctuary.
Tallulah, along with several other green activists, had started a signature campaign canvassing for the setting up of a tiger reserve in the state.
“Over 300 people had signed our memorandum which we had submitted to the PMO (Prime Minister’s Office). We will now follow up with the state forest department to ensure that this tiger reserve dream comes true,” she said.
According to Arti D., another activist, Ramesh’s initiative was “one step forward in promoting tiger habitat in Goa”.
“Now there is a dire need to pressurise the state government to send a proposal to declare Mhadei as a tiger habitat,” she said.
Until a tiger was poached two years back in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary, principal chief conservator of forests Shashi Kumar had steadfastly denied the existence of Goa being a tiger habitat.
According to anti-mining activist Ramesh Gauns, declaration of a tiger reserve in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary would affect the open cast iron ore mining industry in the vicinity.
“One of the reasons why the forest department was not interested in pursuing the tiger poaching case is because if the Sattari area is declared a tiger reserve, mining companies will have to bid goodbye to the 81 mining leases located nearby,” Gauns said.
Wildlife expert Rajendra Kerkar, who has been campaigning for the setting up of tiger reserve in Goa for the last 20 years, said mining is the real reason why the tiger has never been officially allowed to “surface” in Goa’s forests.
“It is beyond doubt that these forests are a home for tigers. However, if the state’s handful sanctuaries are notified as tiger reserves, mining - illegal and legal - around these, carried out with the blessings of the politicians and state administration, would have to cease,” he said.
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- Activists roar for tiger reserve as Goa drags feet - Jul 11, 2011
- Tiger, tiger burning bright in Goa's forests - Feb 06, 2011
- Civil society groups, media rally behind tiger activist - Feb 13, 2010
- Campaign in Goa: buy a cow, save the tiger - Oct 08, 2010
- Ministers cite opposition to tiger reserve in Goa - Jul 19, 2011
- Goa urged to set up tiger reserve - Jul 23, 2011
- Goa may add to India's tiger numbers - Apr 17, 2011
- Goa wildlife census shows tiger presence - May 13, 2010
- Wildlife activist named as abettor in tiger killing - Feb 09, 2010
- Indians have harmed tigers more than the colonialists: Goa governor - Nov 13, 2010
- Central government confirms tiger poached in Goa, state denies - Nov 24, 2009
- Sariska area villagers protest relocation - Mar 31, 2012
- Forest department nabs four men for tiger poaching in Goa - May 25, 2009
- BJP, Congress in nexus over illegal mining: Goa activists - Sep 23, 2011
Tags: arti, cast iron, chief conservator, chief minister, environment minister, environmental activist, goa, hardwork, iron ore mining, mining industry, panaji, pmo, resident population, signature campaign, state forest department, state government, tiger habitat, tiger reserve, tiger sanctuary, wildlife sanctuary