Naxalite activities affecting Tiger Reserves:Govt

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New Delhi, Mar 12 (UNI) Naxalite activities were greatly interfering in the management of tiger reserves of Indravati (Chhattisgarh) and Palamau (Jharkhand), the Government told the Lok Sabha today.

However, Naxalite presence has been reported from other tiger reserves too, but not to the extent of affecting the management, Minister of State for Environment and Forests S Regupathy told the House in a written reply.

He said various steps had been taken for protecting tiger and other wild animals in tiger reserves.

''However, since problems relating to extremist engineered disturbances are of policing as well as social in nature, efforts have been taken to elicit local public support for conservation, which, interalia, include eco-development package, ecotourism and antipoaching operations involving local workforce to provide livelihood options to stakeholder people,'' the Minister said.

Eco-sensitive zones: Replying to a related question, the Minister said the Indian Board for Wildlife had in 2002 adopted a wildlife conservation strategy which required notifying lands falling within 10 km of the boundaries of National Parks and Sanctuaries as Eco-fragile zones under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986.

However, after concern raised by the State Governments like Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan and Goa over the applicability and feasibility of the 10 km range from the Protected Area boundary, it has been decided that the delineation of eco-sensitive zones would have to be site specific and relate to regulation, rather than prohibition, of specific activities, he said.

The states had said most of the human habitation and other areas including important cities in these States, would come under the purview of eco-sensitive zone and will adversely affect the development.

Only the States of Assam, Haryana, Karnataka, Sikkim, Chhattisgarh and Goa have so far submitted the proposal for declaration of eco-sensitive zones around Protected Areas, the Minister said.

UNI NAZ MSJ HT1900

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