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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Mumbai MLA moves Chavan on wildlife issues in Vidarbha

By Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Dec 20, 2012, 12.35 AM IST Soon, law to deter attacks on scribes: Prithviraj ChavanPrithviraj Chavan inaugurates off-campus centre for a management inst...PMC told to finish JNNURM works without delay: Prithviraj ChavanPrithviraj Chavan steers clear of giving out flats to poorCM Prithviraj Chavan wants industrialist to help government in accele... NAGPUR: At a time when legislators from Vidarbha are not so keen to pursue issues grappling wildlife and forests, Congress MLA from Vile Parle in Mumbai, Krishna Hegde, has moved chief minister Prithviraj Chavan to expedite notification of Navegaon-Nagzira tiger reserve proposal. In a letter handed over to Chavan on Tuesday, Hegde appreciated his move to visit Tadoba National Park, which generated a lot of goodwill among wildlife enthusiasts, conservationists and officials. Hegde said the second capital of the state has already been designated as the 'Gateway to Tiger Country' by former environment minister, Jairam Ramesh, in the presence of Chavan in Mumbai in April 2011. "However, the state tourism department has not capitalized on this nomenclature. As Kerala promotes 'God's Own Country', Maharashtra should also aggressively promote 'Gateway To Tiger Land," said Hegde. "I would appeal to all the elected and nominated representatives, media and the public at large to repeatedly use the coinage so that 'Gateway To Tiger Land' gets embedded in the minds of tourists and wildlife lovers all over India and the world," he said. Apart from this, the MLA also drew Chavan's attention to other important issues related to forest and wildlife in Vidarbha. He lauded Chavan for notifying Mansinghdeo, Navegaon, New Nagzira, Umred-Karhandla and New Bor wildlife sanctuaries but demanded basic facilities like roads there. "We also need to have in place a basic infrastructure to promote tourism which is one of the issues related to tiger conservation. Madhya Pradesh is a fine example of how tiger tourism has developed," Hegde said. At the same time, the MLA also demanded to expedite eco-sensitive zones(ESZs) around the national parks and sanctuaries. Due to absence of notifications on such zones, threats of projects like power plants and mines loom large over reserves like Tadoba, Nagzira-Navegaon and Umred-Karhandla. "We need to notify Kolamarka in Gadchiroli as a sanctuary to save endangered wild buffaloes. The move will boost tourism in Gadchiroli and bring income to local communities. I have learnt that a proposal for the sanctuary is ready," he said. Genetically pure wild buffaloes are only found in Indravati in Chhattisgarh and Gadchiroli in Maharashtra. Hegde wanted the chief minister to promote tourism industry in a big way without damaging interests of wildlife and forests. Tourism also needs to be developed in the buffer zones of tiger reserves as early as possible. He urged Chavan that despite potential, tourism is being neglected due to which local communities are unable to reap tourism benefits. Hegde's wish list * Start existing guesthouses and structures for tourists. Facilities near Tadoba are lying unutilized and rest houses in Melghat need to be renovated * Being centrally located, urgent need to start a 'tourism kiosk' at Nagpur airport and in the forest office at Nagpur from where visitors can get detailed information * Don't allow any projects in the corridor. Stop proposed construction of Human dam in Sindewahi tehsil which will cut Tadoba-Umred Karhandla-Navegaon-Nagzira corridor * Poachers roam freely in the region. Take action against officials who are lax in taking action * Formulate a policy that acts of poaching would be held against officials and it would be mentioned in their confidential reports

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