STATE GOVERNMENT claimed today that effective action was being initiated for protection and better management of wildlife, particularly tigers and cheetals, despite the absence of enough funds to carry out activities for wildlife management.
Under the Project Tiger Scheme, an amount of Rs 10.17 crore was received from the Centre in 2004-05 while Rs 8.86 crore were given to the State in 2005-06. Despite the paucity of funds, effective efforts were put in for wildlife protection, an official release said.
Expressing deep concern over the reducing number of tigers and cheetals, State Government now claims to have taken concrete steps to cope up with the situation.
Under a special protection drive launched in the State, 138 ex-servicemen have been deployed in the seven protected forest areas of the State for patrolling. In national parks and sanctuaries of the State, 361 patrolling camps, 86 observation posts, 136 check-posts and 202 wireless stations have been set up. Besides, 50 additional patrolling vans have been made available in the forest areas for security.
Integrated efforts for the protection of wildlife by the Forests and Police Departments with the help of district administration are being made in the concerning areas through the Tiger Cell. Besides, special arrangements have been made to curb and monitor the activities of the communities indulged in illegal hunting of the wild animals.
The MP Forests’ Protection Award was instituted in 2004 to encourage protection and safety of wildlife. It yielded fruitful results while 647 cases of illegal hunting were registered during last two-and-a-half years. Besides, cases of 2,041 criminals were challaned in courts and several vehicles used in the act were confiscated.
According to wildlife census in the 2004, there were 712 tigers and 1,090 leopards in the State. Counting was carried out under the years old traditional system. From this year, a newly developed system is being adopted for census.