Dec 1, 2014
PILIBHIT: Taking a serious note of the dwindling figures of tigers in the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve for the last three years, union minister for women and child development Maneka Gandhi has decided to take up the matter with the central ministry of forest and environment as well as higher authorities of National Tiger Conservation Authority. While talking to TOI on Sunday during her two-day tour to her home constituency, Gandhi firmly asserted that Pilibhit Tiger Reserve would not repeat the history of Sariska. She said she had come to know about the tiger count reports of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve for the last three years through TOI’s news coverage while it should have been the duty of forest authorities to bring the facts to her notice so that the required measures for the conservation of tigers could have been enforced in time. Maneka Gandhi, an animal rights crusader, said that she would be prompted to take result-oriented steps in the matter after having a comprehensive discussion with seniormost authorities of the ministry of forest and environment at the Centre as well as National Tiger Conservation Authority with an objective to elicit the factors responsible for the drastic decline in the number of tigers in PTR.
In response to a question on whether she feels the need for a separate enquiry at the central level, in addition to the one already ordered by the Uttar Pradesh CM, to probe the circumstances behind disappearance of more than ten tigers from PTR, she said that the requisite action plan would be finalized after every aspect related to the missing tigers is minutely reviewed. Maneka said she wanted to ensure that Pilibhit Tiger Reserve would not imitate Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan which is known for its frequent tiger killings. She also said she would pursue the matter till stringent action is taken against every official found guilty for the dwindling tiger numbers and damage to forest. About a decade ago, the Sariska Tiger Reserve in Rajasthan made news as it came to light that there were no tigers there.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com