Rs 4,874-crore plan to save the tiger | india | Hindustan Times
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Rs 4,874-crore plan to save the tiger

To allow the tiger to live without human interference in the wild, the government has agreed to relocate over 40,000 families at a whopping cost of Rs 4,874 crore, reports Chetan Chauhan.

india Updated: Sep 08, 2007 01:47 IST
Chetan Chauhan

To allow the tiger to live without human interference in the wild, the government has agreed to relocate over 40,000 families at a whopping cost of Rs 4,874 crore, in the biggest ever ‘save tiger’ package. The package is a fallout of the Environment Ministry’s report that the tiger population in India is estimated between 1,300 and 1,500 tigers, a sharp decline from 3,642 in 2001.

Likely to be announced at the Prime Minister’s National Wildlife Board meeting later this month, the Environment Ministry’s proposal for relocation of 273 villages from the core areas of the 28 tiger reserves across the country has been approved by the Planning Commission for inclusion in the 11th Five-year Plan. The three-fold relocation and livelihood package will be implemented in the next five years under the supervision of the National Tiger Conservation Authority.

The government has tried to balance out the extreme views of conservationists and civil rights groups, supporting those living within the reserves. The plan states that no one will be forced out, but a compensation of Rs 10 lakh will be an incentive to move out. For relocation of villages, it has been agreed that 84 per cent of the funds will be paid by the Centre and the rest by the state government. The states, on their own, can also provide additional incentives like alternative land, officials said.

A fund to provide livelihood avenues to the population in the fringe areas — which have lost the most tigers in the last six years — has also been agreed on. The government will allocate Rs 135 crore for this. Another Rs 100 crore is being provided for rehabilitation of the traditional hunters.