Skip to main content

Red Threat on Tiger Census

Ahead of the ambitious tiger census in 2022, there are disturbing reports of disruption in the counting of the big cats in Palamu tiger reserve located in Jharkhand where  Naxalites have yet again threatened the tiger estimation work. Last year there were reports that the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) officials were allegedly taken hostage by the left wing ultras in Palamu when they were carrying out the work of setting up cameras in the jungle to capture the images of the tigers for the census. However, they were released later.  Palamu is not the only tiger reserve  in India facing the red threat. Indravati national park in Chattisgarh, now considered as a Naxal hotspot, and Similipal in Odisha are some other national parks where the Naxals  have affected the wildlife conservation projects. 2022 is an important year for tiger conservation as the tiger range countries – mainly the countries where the big cat is found  in South East Asia  and the Russian Far East - had  decided in

Cry to Save Panna from Ken Betwa Project Gets Louder


A week after signing the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)   for the contentious Ken Betwa river link project, considered as the death warrant for Panna national park, Madhya Pradesh chief minister enjoyed the sylvan surroundings of the tiger reserve resting along with his family in a luxury jungle resort situated in the buffer zone of the park. And as he went around a safari watching the tiger, people in Panna city took to the streets appealing to him to save the tiger the day festival of colour Holi  was celebrated. Amidst the raging coronavirus, they did not assemble at one place. Instead they stood at different places of the city with slogans on  placards and protested silently. They urged Shivraj to reconsider the project and the proposed felling of lakhs of trees and save the national animal-the tiger . But as he spent time leisurely  in the jungle he  was apparently unaware of the cry to save the same forest.

 "Don't Cut 23 Lakh Trees"

Nature and wildlife lovers,  youth and children carried placards  and urged the chief minister to stop the proposed cutting  of 23 lakh trees . A child  raised a slogan, “ Mama , Save the Tigers.”   He said that trees should not be cut in a drought prone area.  It is said that  trees  influence rainfall, so with no rainfall , how would you  fill up the dam, he asks. Some protesters also carried  the posters near the buffer zone of the  park which attracted the attention of the passersby; they also  stood near the   famous Jugal Kishore temple where  Shivraj also visited.

Also read: Ken-Betwa Project:Dam of Doom for Panna Tiger Reserve

One of the slogans said, “ stop playing with nature” and the other read , “ Don’t cut 23 lakh trees and “ save the tigers.” Arun Singh, a senior journalist and a blogger appealed to the chief minister to save the national animal.  He said that the project would cost dearly for the environment and ecology of Bundelkhand, the backward region already bearing the brunt of climate change and facing erratic weather conditions of  droughts and floods.   Two days ago, former  BJP MLA from Panna Kusum Mehedel had already criticized the project  as it would lead  to the “ destruction of the tiger reserve”.

Apprehensions on the Rise: MP May Not Benefit  

Much before the people of Panna protested against the project, fourteen years ago, a district in Panna had punched holes  in the project and shot a letter to the then principal secretary of water resources department of Madhya Pradesh and said,” I will not hesitate to say that the first line 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.” In the state wildlife board meeting in 2015 where Shivraj as  the chairman of the Board had cleared the project,  a senior board member had commented , “ na pani milega na park” ( MP will neither get water nor the Panna park) .

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

Once completed, in an estimated nine years ,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 will lead to submergence of over 90 sq km area in the Panna Tiger Reserve, home to over 65 tigers.   Interestingly the green clearances required for such projects are yet to be issued and it is believed that the centre is pushing the project  because of the assembly elections due in Uttar Pradesh  next year.Experts believe that  the project would benefit the neighbouring as MP will bear the brunt of  submergence of emerald forests of Panna.

 Images:  People's protest in Panna

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

Fresh Tiger Crisis in MP Midst Favourable Poaching Conditions

Madhya Pradesh , the tiger state of India, is facing  fresh tiger threat. Four cases of suspected poaching around Bandhavgarh national park in the last one month and tragic tiger killing in a road accident near Panna national park rattled the state forest department. Experts believe that this is an ominous sign and should serve as a wake -up call for the government to continue the tiger success story in the state. Already facing the issues of multiple threats to the tiger corridors and habitat, the recent happenings revolve around the revenge killing and poaching. There is also an urgent need to initiate retrofitting measures in the parks like Panna , recently included in the list of UNESCO biosphere reserves. Disturbing Trends Around the National Park As the special task force (STF) of wildlife rush to investigate the tiger killings around Bandhavgarh national park- 4 in about 25 days of time- it is suspected that “organised poachers” are behind the killings. Quite a sensation was