Alleging violation of laws in construction of tiger safari in Madhya Pradesh’s Pench national park, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the apex body for tiger conservation, expressed fe
Alleging violation of laws in construction of tiger safari in Madhya Pradesh’s Pench national park, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), the apex body for tiger conservation, expressed fears on Wednesday that it would expose the animal to poaching. The national park is famous as home to “Mowgli” — the protagonist in English writer Rudyard Kipling’s The Jungle Book.
The NTCA, a statutory body under the environment ministry, has written to the state government saying the ongoing construction of tiger safari inside the national park “is detrimental to tiger dispersal” and “exposes them to poaching”. The Madhya Pradesh forest department has failed to take “prior approval” from the Central Zoo Authority before construction of tiger safari in Pench and Bandhavgarh, it said.
The move assumes significance as many wildlife activists have been objecting to the creation of tiger safari in Pench and in Bandhavgarh national parks claiming it is harmful for the big cats. The state government’s plan to cut over 550 trees in Pench to make way for the tiger safari was also criticised by them.
Existing guidelines allow establishment of tiger safari in buffer area of a national park or a reserve, in order to reduce pressure from core or critical habitat of the wild cats. “The ongoing construction of the tiger safari in Pench, in violation of various rules and regulation, is detrimental to tiger dispersal which has altered their land tenure dynamics, resulting in tiger dispersal in human dominated landscapes which exposes them to poaching events.
“A similar case may arise with the proposed safari at Bandhavgarh tiger reserve,” the NTCA said in a letter to Chief Wildlife Warden of Madhya Pradesh. Eight tigers have been reportedly killed in and around Pench in last eight months.
It said that any tiger safari has to be in accordance with guidelines formulated by the NTCA and Central Zoo Authority guidelines. The state government has been asked to take necessary action in this regard.