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‘Tiger safari’ in Madhya Pradesh’s three reserves

Tiger Safari will be launched in three reserves in Madhya Pradesh to promote tourism, a move which is being opposed by wildlife activists.The three safaris will be created in Bandhavgarh, Pench and Kanha tiger reserves of the state. A proposal in this regard has been approved by the state government, according to the minutes of the meetings held on the matter. The safaris will be operating in buffer area as it will reduce the pressure from the core, considered the main habitat of tigers in a reserve, it said. For this purpose, Madhya Pradesh Eco Tourism Board will come out with a tender for construction of fencing and other works. Six tiger reserves in Madhya Pradesh — Bandhavgarh, Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura, Sanjay-Dubri and Pench — have about 308 big cats, as per a government report on tiger population, 2014.

However, wildlife activists claim that the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had some time back ordered deferment of the state government’s proposal to create tiger safari in Pench reserve.”The state government is violating NTCA guidelines by going ahead with tiger safari. NTCA has deferred a decision in this regard. Also, tigers should not be kept in captivity. I have complained about the state government’s move to the NTCA,” activist Ajay Dubey said. He said it was also proposed by the state government to take permission from Central Zoo Authority for the purpose. “They have not taken the permission as yet,” Dubey said.