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Friday, January 25, 2013

Poaching of tigers a major concern: CM

TNN | Jan 25, 2013, 06.26 AM IST Soon, law to deter attacks on scribes: Prithviraj ChavanCM Prithviraj Chavan to meet Dhule riot victimsPrithviraj Chavan orders judicial probe into Dhule riotPrithviraj Chavan inaugurates off-campus centre for a management inst...Chief for Maharashtra women’s commission soon, Prithviraj Chavan says PUNE: The estimated tiger population in the state has increased from 169 (in 2010) to around 200 at present. While the population has increased, one of the major concerns for the government is poaching. Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said that the government is taking strong steps to curb poaching of tigers and other wild animals. Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the state wildlife board, Chavan said it has been found that tigers are being poached by electrocution. MSEDCL's 11 KW lines pass from four tiger sanctuaries. The poachers use wires attached with hooks to draw current from the overhead high tension lines and electrocute tigers. To prevent poaching of tigers by electrocution, two proposals had come up before the state wildlife board. The first proposal was to consider whether the high tension lines can be laid underground, and the second proposal was about whether any rubber coating can be used for the lines passing through the sanctuaries. While no decision has been taken about these proposals, Chavan said a coordination group will be set up between the MSEDCL and the forest department to work out a proposal whether any joint patrolling team can be deployed along the overhead power lines. Last year, there were 14 tiger deaths, of which one died due to electrocution. This month, there have been three deaths of which one has died due to electrocution. The estimated tiger population in the state is around 200 at present, he said. Another proposal for protection of tigers is to create passes over irrigation canals. Chavan said irrigation canals, constructed in Vidarbha region, pass through tiger sanctuaries. The canals obstruct their free movement. Some tigers also get killed in these canals. For preventing such deaths and to allow free movement of tigers, a proposal is on the cards to have some passes over canals. An expert team from the irrigation department will finalise the design. Meanwhile, the state wildlife board has decided to increase the compensation to families of persons killed by tigers in buffer zones from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. The government has also decided to appoint special veterinary doctors who are willing to work in buffer zones around wildlife sanctuaries. story 1: Pune: Chief minister Prithviraj Chavan on Thursday said that the state government has sent a recommendation to the central government to get clearance under the Forest Act for the proposed Navi Mumbai International Airport (NMIA). Speaking to reporters after the meeting of the Maharashtra Wildlife Board, Chavan said the eco-sensitive zone around the 14 sq km area of Karnala bird sanctuary has to be first demarcated by experts. One end of the proposed airport overlaps the eco-sensitive zone around the bird sanctuary up to a distance of 9.5 kms, he said. "The eco-sensitive zone has not been defined. It varies from two to 10 kms depending on the local situation. This area has to be defined by experts. The government has sent a recommendation to the Centre for getting clearance under the Forest Act, mentioning that the eco-sensitive zone be demarcated," Chavan said, adding that the government has already received environmental clearance for NMIA. The area of the Karnala bird sanctuary is a small area spread over just 14 sq kms, he said. The government is considering whether some additional area can be included in the sanctuary, he added. Chavan pointed out that the National Highway (NH17) from Mumbai to Goa passes from the sanctuary. There is also a proposal for six-laning of the highway. The government had earlier planned to create a bypass to avoid the sanctuary area. However, the estimated cost for the proposal is too high, he said.

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