RAIPUR: Despite spending Rs 34.5 crore in Chhattisgarh during the last four years in the three Tiger Reserves, the state has miserably failed on the ‘save the tiger’ mission.
For the conservation of tigers, the state has spent Rs 34.56 crore since 2015, said the state forest minister Mohammed Akbar in response to the question over tiger protection raised by the former chief minister Ajit Jogi in the ongoing Assembly session.
The big cat population in the state has gone down by 59 per cent from 46 in 2014 to 19 in 2018, according to latest reports. And the state forest department too admitted the situation is too depressing for Chhattisgarh.
Going by the extensive assessment report carried out by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) under the ministry of environment forest and climate change, that clubbed all 50 tiger reserves of the country, the Chhattisgarh state has been cited to be the least performing state.
The state has three tiger reserves and the previous week Chhattisgarh State Wildlife Board chaired by the chief minister Bhupesh Baghel took the decision to have fourth tiger reserve in the state.
“It’s really disheartening. There exists lack of dedicated efforts on behalf of the staff, no effective monitoring and control. The element of fear among wrongdoers has also vanished, so we ended up with such discouraging figures on tigers in Chhattisgarh,” the principal chief conservator of forest (wild life) Atul Shukla told the Express.
He said that the department has begun damage control exercise and strict instructions are being issued from the top to the grass-root level to ensure there is no dereliction of one’s duties.