Goa urged to set up tiger reserve

July 23rd, 2011 - 9:09 pm ICT by IANS  

Panaji, July 23 (IANS) Even while the Goa government is dithering over the setting up of a tiger reserve in the state, a member of the National Board for Wildlife (NBW) has now urged Chief Minister Digambar Kamat to pull up his socks and ensure that the reserve becomes a reality.

Prerna Singh Bindra, a wildlife conservationist and a member of the NBW, said that setting up a tiger reserve in the existing Mhadei wildlife sanctuary would consolidate and address water security areas in the northern regions of Goa.

“As you know Mhadei is the catchment area of important rivers like the Mhadei, Malaprabha, Pandhari, Bailnadi, Tillari, and making it a tiger reserve will help consolidate and address the water security issues for Goa’s prosperity,” Bindra said in a letter to Kamat Thursday, copies of which were made available Saturday.

Bindra also said that it was distressing to hear voices in the media which described the setting up of a tiger reserve as an “anti-people” move, and added that it was imperative to set up the reserve because the presence of the tigers had been established as a fact.

“Goa is home to resident and breeding tigers, a fact that is well established. The Wildlife Institute of India (WII) has pointed out that Goa and its contiguous forests in Karnataka and Maharashtra are the best potential tiger habitats in the Western Ghats and need protection,” Bindra said.

Earlier this month, former environment and forests minister Jairam Ramesh requested the Goa government to send the proposal for a tiger reserve at Mhadei region. Days after the letter became public, several ministers in the Congress-led alliance government in the state went on record against setting up of the reserve.

Civil society groups in the state, however, have backed the lobbying for the tiger reserve in the state.

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