B2 (1997-2011)

B2 (1997-2011)

Sunday, 24 July 2011

NTCA's 10-member panel to save tiger corridors, habitat

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN Jul 21, 2011, 09.51pm IST

NAGPUR: To check intensive landuse practices like mining, construction of road and railway lines affecting the tiger habitat and corridors, the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has set up a 10-member committee of experts.

NTCA is a statutory body under the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) monitoring tiger reserves in the country. The committee will do appraisal of impact of mining, road and rail construction on tiger conservation. The panel of well-known experts from all fields will draw upon the best practices in other countries in this context, while suggesting ecological compatible synergy between conservation and development.

The 10-member panel consists of MK Ranjit Sinh, member, National Board for Wildlife Life (NBWL), Asha Rajwanshi and Qamar Qureshi, both scientists, Wildlife Institute of India (WII), Dehradun, VK Sharma, chief general manager (CGM), NHAI, New Delhi, M Firoz Ahmed, member of NTCA, T Chandni, director (IA), MoEF, HK Chowdhury, AIG (FC), MoEF, one nominee each of the ministry of railways (MoR) and Coal India Limited (CIL), and SP Yadav, deputy inspector general (DIG), NTCA. Yadav will be the member-convener.

Yadav said the terms of reference (ToR) of the committee will include country-level appraisal of the extent of tiger habitat, corridors and other crucial areas for conservation, based on the 2010 all India tiger estimation. The CIL and MoR have been requested to depute their one representative on the panel.

The committee will also appraise ongoing demand for diversion of habitat areas towards infrastructure projects in tiger range states. It will also appraise global best practices adopted to safeguard conservation vis-à-vis intensive land use.

The committee will also make general recommendations for harmonising such land uses vis-à-vis tiger conservation in the Indian context. The panel will submit its report within a period of six months, Yadav added.

MK Ranjit Sinh, chairman of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI), confirmed to TOI about his inclusion in the NTCA committee but said as he had just returned from Rajasthan and will have to check the mandate.

The committee has a key role to play while deciding on various ongoing projects threatening tiger corridors in the region. The prime among them includes the four-laning of NH6 by NHAI between Lakhni and Deori. The road widening cuts the tiger corridor between Navegaon National Park and Nagzira wildlife sanctuary, proposed to be declared as tiger reserve.

Another issue is the stalled four-laning of NH7 from Mansar to Rukhad which threatens both Pench tiger reserves. The four-laning will also rip through some compartments of the newly declared Mansingdeo sanctuary. Besides, there are several mining projects around Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR), which pose threat to the reserve.

http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-21/nagpur/29798912_1_tiger-reserve-ntca-national-tiger-conservation-authority

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