A situation akin to Panna and Sariska reserves, where big cats disappeared, can arise at 18 tiger parks across the country if they are not protected in a proper manner, Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh on Friday warned.
"There are 39 Project Tigers Reserves in the country and among them, the condition of only nine is good, 12 need improvement and in 18 Panna or Sariska can happen anytime," Ramesh told reporters after the seventh convocation ceremony at the Indian Institute of Forest Management (IIFM).
Both Panna and Sariska were in the news following disappearance of tigers from the reserve.
"There is certainly a conspiracy by mining and poaching mafia to kill big cats so that the land gets denotified and then they can turn it into a real estate or use it for mining," he said.
When asked to identify some of these reserves, he said that besides Panna in Madhya Pradesh such a threat also exists in Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Chhattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh and Maharashtra among others.
To a question on handing over the case of disappearance of tigers from Panna reserve to the CBI, Ramesh said he is awaiting the report of the committee formed by the state government and only after going through its findings a decision can be taken.