Goa not to propose its forests as tiger reserve


Panaji: Chief minister Pramod Sawant on Thursday said that the state will not propose to declare tiger reserve in the state as it is not feasible under the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s guidelines.

Several environmental NGOs has condemned the statement of the chief minister claiming that such an act will spell doom on the forests of the coastal state.

Talking to reporters on Thursday, Sawant said that the first meeting of the State Wildlife Board which was held on Wednesday has resolved not to move any resolution for declaring Goa’s forest areas as Tiger Reserve.

He said that the state does not fit in the criteria of National Tiger Conservation Authority to be declared as a Tiger reserve.

Several NGOs were demanding that the Forest areas of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary be declared as a Tiger Reserve due to the presence of the wild cat in its habitat. Sawant said that the State Wildlife Board has given clearance for construction of a dam inside Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.

The announcement did not go well with the NGOs. Pratima Coutinho of NGO Save Mhadei Save Goa Front said that they will be resorting to the agitation, if state government does not reverse its decision.

“We are going to go to every village panchayat and municipality creating awareness about the Tiger reserve in the state,” she said. Another activist Rajan Ghate claimed that Sawant himself had made a statement in the year 2020 that Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary should be declared as a Tiger Reserve.

Renowned environmentalist Rajendra Kerkar said that the decision of the wildlife board is condemnable. “We have witnessed how the forests of Goa were burnt, purposely by setting them on fire. If this stand continues, it will be difficult for the coastal state,” he said.


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