Congress MLA and former state minister Ajay Singh has moved a call attention motion that would be taken up in the upcoming assembly winter session commencing Monday, questioning the state government’s decision to capture and shift the tigers in the vicinity of Bhopal to other habitats.
In the call attention motion, Singh has said that the forests of Kerwa and Kaliasot have been the natural habitat for tigers for a long time. He further said that there is no other state capital in the country which has tigers in such close proximity to the city and this is a unique aspect which must be preserved. Singh’s house overlooks the Kerwa dam and is within the area where tigers are often sighted.
“If the Ratapani sanctuary has an excess population of tigers which are now moving to the forests of Kerwa and Kaliasot, the solution is not to move the tigers but to strengthen the habitat and conserve the population there,” Ajay Singh told HT. “One way to do that would be to notify the proposed phase II of the Van Vihar national park,” he added.
In the motion, Singh also demanded that an immediate ban on construction be imposed and followed in the forest area and the forest be demarcated and protected.
The state forest department had brought in four elephants to track and capture the tigers in the Kerwa forest last fortnight but did not succeed. The elephants have now been sent off but the state government said that it will try and attempt to catch the tigers at the soonest.
According to forest department sources, the tigers may have moved back to the Ratapani sanctuary due to the pursuit by the teams.