Skip to main content

Are Tigers denied Honourable Death?

  Should a wild tiger be allowed to die its natural death in the jungle when injured after aterritorial fight or in natural course  or it should be  given medical treatment  when found injured.For long, this question has baffled the wildlife managers, many of whom are of the opinion that a wild tiger should not be denied an honorable death. Let the law of the jungle prevail and there should be no interference with nature. Treat or Not to Treat: Dilemma Continues   So a tiger carrying an injury in its natural course of life in the jungle (not due toany human action) – should it be treated with medicines? Though this question has been raised for the past many years, NTCA guidelines prohibit such intervention(of medication). A one-word answer for the question seems to be difficult ,especially in the times when most of the people are concerned moreover thetiger numbers. India along with other 13 tiger range countries has been workingfor the past few years to double the number of the big c

UNESCO's "Hope for the Planet" Cry doesn't Gel with Ken Betwa Project

UNESCO, Betwa Project, Man and Biosphere Programme, UNESCO New Delhi, Panna Tiger Reserve,  Madhya Pradesh,

When Panna was included as  the 12th  Biosphere Reserve (BR),  it was yet another recognition to  its critical tiger reserve facing threat from a river  linking project and Bunelkhand’s unique ecosystem. “UNESCO’s Man and the Biosphere (MAB) programme today (October 29) included Panna in India and Fuvahmulah and Addu Atoll (both islands)  in the Maldives, to UNESCO’s World Network of Biosphere Reserves'', the UNESCO website said.

Sustainability: Hope for the Planets

UNESCO, Betwa Project, Man and Biosphere Programme, UNESCO New Delhi, Panna Tiger Reserve,  Madhya Pradesh,

If we can make sustainability work at a local level, and scientifically document how it works, perhaps there is hope for the planet. That is the task UNESCO’s Man and Biosphere Programme  (MAB) was given by its Member States 49 years ago, ’the website quoted ,Guy Broucke, head of Natural Sciences, UNESCO New Delhi.  Introducing Panna as the new BR, the UNESCO said “Located in the centre of India, in the state of Madhya Pradesh, Panna is characterized by forests and marshy vegetation, with an abundance of rare medicinal plants as well as other non-timber forestry products, such as Kattha, gum and resins. It is a critical tiger habitat area and hosts the Panna Tiger Reserve, as well as the World Heritage site of the Khajuraho Group of Monuments. The area has undergone substantial ecosystem restoration in the buffer zone. With only three urban centres and over 300 villages, agriculture is the main source of income, together with horticulture, forestry, and cultural and eco-tourism.”

A Big Question over Ken Betwa Project Again

UNESCO, Betwa Project, Man and Biosphere Programme, UNESCO New Delhi, Panna Tiger Reserve,  Madhya Pradesh,
The first reaction of environmentalists after this acknowledgement is : How would it affect the  controversial Ken-Betwa link project (KBLP) , especially in view of the issues raised by the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) of the Supreme Court in a case related to the project  on  August  30 last year. It questioned the basis on which wildlife clearance was granted to it.  Punching holes in the green clearances given to (KBLP), proposed right inside the  Panna tiger  reserve, by the Union ministry of environment, the CEC of the apex court raised questions about the basic viability of the project.  The report reveals that sustainable and cost-effective alternatives to the Ken-Betwa project have not been considered and the project will impact wildlife like tiger and gharial, whose populations are threatened. The report also noted that felling of over two million trees for the project would be a severe loss and compensatory planting would not be able to recreate existing riverine and forest ecosystems. An estimated  Rs. 280 billion project involves the construction of a 77 metre high and 2,031 m long composite dam across river Ken near village Daudhan in Chhatarpur district of Madhya Pradesh. Once completed, in an estimated nine years, the dam is expected to provide irrigation facility to 606,980 hectares area, drinking water facility for 1.4 million (14 lakh) people and generation of 78-megawatt hydropower. Water will be transferred through a 221-kilometre long Ken-Betwa Link Canal Phase-l which will be constructed along the left bank of the river Ken. The project is also expected to result in submergence of over 9,000 hectares of area and out of that 5,803 hectares is in the Panna Tiger Reserve (PTR).

Also read: Protect This Wildlife Corridor to Save the Ganges

The first river -linking project of India involving the states of  Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh envisages a transfer of surplus water from river Ken’s basin to river Betwa’s basin to provide water in areas in the upper Betwa basin that are facing acute water shortage. That Ken  basin is water –surplus is always contested.  Long back, in 2007, a district collector of Panna shot a letter to the then principal secretary of water resources department and said,” I will not hesitate to say that the first line itself of the feasibility report prepared by the National Water Development Agency is faulty. To say that the Ken Basin is a “Water Surplus” basin is not only totally erroneous, it holds disastrous implications for the residents of Panna district as also other districts of the Ken river basin.”

Questioning the “appropriateness of the wildlife clearances” given to the project , Himanshu Thakkar, coordinator of the South Asia Network on Dams Rivers and people (SANDRP ) also  questioned its “viability, optimality and desirability”. SANDRP is a network of organisations and individuals working on issues related to the water sector, specifically associated with large dams. Thakkar also hoped that  “the government wakes up to the reality and shelves the project and immediately goes for more viable, quicker, cost-effective and less damaging options for Bundelkhand”

Politics Pushes Environmental Issues to Backburner

UNESCO, Betwa Project, Man and Biosphere Programme, UNESCO New Delhi, Panna Tiger Reserve,  Madhya Pradesh,
Meanwhile politicians, especially those linked with the party in power keep raising the issue and talk about its  speedy implementation. Amidst protests from some members of  MP State Wildlife Board,  Shivraj Singh Chouhan   in 2015  as CM  ensured that  it gets  the board’s nod. A book on tiger crisis ,‘ BREATHLESS” –‘ Hunted and Hounded, the Tiger Runs for Its life’ reveals  the inside story of the  Board meeting.  “One of the  non-official members of the Board  said that the nation will have to choose between the project and the park, ”the book written by a Bhopal based journalist said. Chouhan opted for the project.  Recently in an election meeting in Badamalehara ,Chouhan  sought the help of Uma Bharti  to  coordinate a  meeting with his UP counterpart . Chouhan said that he would have a meeting with the chief minister of UP   demanding more water for Madhya Pradesh as  more land of  the state would be submerged . Though Panna BR is much more than the Panna tiger reserve,  the issue of KBLP comes naturally. Panna BR area includes ecologically rich forest pockets of north, south forest divisions, and  the protected areas of Panna district and forest division of Chhatarpur district. Panna BR ,notified by the ministry of environment and forest on  August 25, 2011, represents a unique ecosystem within a narrow belt of table top mountains of  ‘Vindhyan hill ranges’ and part of ‘Bundelkhand’ region. This includes the traditional agro-ecosystems, dry deciduous forests of Teak, Salai, Kardhai, bamboo and mixed types of forests.  The BR includes 3 protected areas Panna national park, Gangau and  Ken-Gharial sanctuaries. The Panna BR consists of three well delineated zones- 792.53 square kms of core area ,989.20 sq kms of buffer and 1219.25 km sq kms of transition zones . After Pachmarhi and Amarkantak BRs, Panna is third in the series highlighting the significance of forests in Madhya Pradesh. But they need to be preserved and protected. And our politicians need to be enlightened over the importance of forests and environment.
Banner picture : Tiger on a rock in Ken river inside Panna national park.Source unknown tourist

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Tiger Checks in a Bandhavgarh Hotel

A luxury resort in Bandhavgarh tiger reserve is hosting an uninvited yet highly sought after guest for the past few days. The guest occupied the sprawling property all alone on May 5 and refused to move out.  Elephants were deployed to vacate the hotel but in vain. Devours Buffalo and Quenches Thirst from Pool For the past three days, a 9 year old tiger code named T37 is occupying the hotel.  The tiger is seen moving around in the hotel corridors. T-37 peeped into the cottages locked in the absence of tourists and decided to take rest in a veranda. Located near Dhamokhar range of  the national park, it is one of the costliest properties of Bandhavgarh   where who’s who of India stay during their visit to the park. After the second wave of coronavirus, the tourism activities are stopped in the park. Some time on May 4 or 5, T-37 killed a buffalo  and  dragged it  to the open area of the resort. The tiger was taking his time while consuming the kill. T-37 refused  to vacate the place. 

Another tiger loses life in eco-sensitive rail zone connecting India

 Photographs of tiger- carcasses lying on railway tracks could never evoke a feeling of happiness. It saddens the wildlife lovers who would always want to see the majestic animal in the wild, freely taking strides or stalking a prey. But carrying such somber details become necessary to shake up and wake -up the agencies involved in development and the officials accountable  for striking an equilibrium  between environment and economics. Another young tiger died in the eco-sensitive zone (ESZ )of Balaghat-Gondia-Ballarshah  railway tracks on March 8 . Identified as a  T14, about 18 month old tigress of Navegaon national park ,located in Gondia district of Maharashtra. The Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary, Navegaon is home to almost 60% of the bird species found in the entire Maharashtra. Every winter, flocks of migratory birds visit the lake. Also read: Tiger's Epic Walk Raises Serious Environmental Issues T14 was run over by a goods train around 8am to 8.15 am on March 8. The young ti

Victims of Drones and Selfie Seekers, Jawai Leopards on the Brink

Leopards found in the famous granite hills of Jawai are in deep trouble. Encroachers at the Jawai Leopard Conservation Reserve (JLCR) in Rajasthan have reportedly crossed almost all the limits threatening the very existence of the spotted cat, about 60 to 65 in numbers. There is a history of 150 years of coexistence of the elusive cat with humans in the region but overdose of wildlife tourism is all set to disturb the environmental equilibrium. Drones fly over the big cats and gypsies are driven right in front of the caves of the leopards as the tourists take selfies, a report prepared by a sub divisional officer ( SDO) in July 2020 revealed.  The SDO also annexed pictures of   drones flying over leopards and a number of gypsies parked in front of  the animal caves. Wildlife experts fear that increased human activity may push leopards away from the reserve or the human interference may lead to man-animal conflict. Water Body with Spectacular Surroundings Jawai is a stunning landscape