‘Project Cheetah’ today made possible because…: Congress on Gwalior event

Published on Sep 17, 2022 09:05 AM IST

The last of the cheetah population in India was declared extinct in 1952 and is being revived after 70 years today at the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh.

Jairam Ramesh at the Cheetah Outreach Centre in South Africa in 2010.
Jairam Ramesh at the Cheetah Outreach Centre in South Africa in 2010.
Written by Sharmita Kar | Edited by Poulomi Ghosh

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's grand event of releasing eight cheetahs, flown from Namibia, in a Madhya Pradesh national park, the Congress on Friday reminded that the proposal for ‘Project Cheetah’ was prepared and approved in 2008-09 under the Manmohan Singh-led UPA government.

A special cargo plane, carrying the cheetahs all the way from Namibia to India, landed at the Indian Air Force Station in Gwalior and will be released in Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Cheetahs were declared extinct in India in 1952.

“The proposal for 'Project Cheetah' was prepared in 2008-09. Manmohan Singh's government gave approval to it. The then Forest and Environment Minister, Jairam Ramesh, went to Cheetah outreach centre in South Africa in April 2010,” read the tweet by Congress, with a picture of Jairam Ramesh at the Cheetah Outreach Centre in South Africa in 2010.

The grand old party also noted that in 2013, the Supreme Court had stayed the project, and allowed it in in 2020, paving the way for the cheetahs to return to India.

The Congress Rajya Sabha MP too shared on Twitter an article he had written in a daily a few weeks ago that gave a history of why and how today's event of the cheetah's arriving in India was made possible. In his piece, Ramesh talked about his visit to the Cheetah Outreach Centre in Cape Town and the efforts under the programme back then.

“As the cheetahs arrive today at Kuno National Park from Namibia, sharing an article I had written in the Economic Times of July 30th that gives the history of why and how today's event was made possible,” Jairam Ramesh said in his tweet.

The cheetahs have been brought under an MoU signed earlier this year. The Prime Minister will visit the Kuno national park and release the cheetahs in a quarantine set up at 10:45am, a statement issued by the prime minister's office said.

The release of the wild cheetahs by PM Modi in Kuno National Park is part of his efforts to revitalise and diversify India's wildlife and its habitat, the statement added.

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