New Delhi: Plans to reintroduce tigers into the Sariska Tiger Reserve is taking longer than expected a year after the proposal was floated, along with a few preconditions which the management would have to fulfil.
The tigers vanished from the Alwar sanctuary almost three years ago. After the hue and cry on the issue, the ministry of environment and forests had agreed in principle to re-introduce the wild cats, but a year later, none of the criteria have been fulfilled yet.
“A letter has been sent to the state, which clearly says that the issues, which contributed to the local extinction of the tiger in the park, haven’t been resolved and reintroduction cannot be taken up before that,” says a government official, who did not wish to be identified.
The preconditions set by the Wildlife Institute of India include speedy relocation of four villages from the core area, diversion of traffic on the state highway running through the park, replacement of staff and beefing up security by deploying ex-armymen and locals for patrolling.
“We have submitted proposals for the relocation and traffic diversion to the state government. It is not our decision,” says P.S. Somshekhar, field director of the Sariska Tiger Reserve.
Provisions of demarcating a buffer area around the core is also mandatory, according to the new amendments in the Wildlife Protection Act. The zone also hasn’t been demarcated yet.