NEW DELHI: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has asked the Centre to allow tourism in buffer zone of its national parks which have at least 257 tigers.
Chouhan today met Union Minister for Environment, Forest and Climate Change Prakash Jawdekar and apprised him of the difficulties coming in the way of execution of development works for want of approval at different stages or delay in getting green nod.
Chouhan requested the Minister to allow tourism activities in buffer zone (peripheral area) of the national parks as this will help the person living in that area to get employment while remaining emotionally attached to the forest areas, a press release issued by the state government said.
There are nine national parks in Madhya Pradesh. Of these, Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori—Satpura, Sanjay Dubri and Pench, have as many as 257 tigers. The tiger population in the country was estimated to be 1,706 as per data collected in 2010.
Chouhan also expressed his concern for the decreasing number of tigers in the state, it said.
He raised the issue of people living in the tiger reserve area and settling them elsewhere in the state.The CM requested the central government to provide funds for the purpose from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) scheme, the release said.
Stressing that the state is facing huge revenue loss due to the closure of works in Mahan and Hamiliya coal blocks mine, Chouhan urged the Union Minister to allow at least the bidding process for the coal blocks so that the work can be started and losses can be minimised.