New Delhi, Jan 13 (PTI) Giving a boost to tigerconservation in the country, the Government today approved thecreation of four posts in the rank of Inspector General ofForests for the three regional offices and headquarters of theNational Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA).
The decision approved by the Union Cabinet would benefitall the 39 tiger reserves falling in 17 tiger range states.
The decision is expected to lead to "close monitoring at theregional level resulting in strengthened tiger conservation."
This move, in conjunction with the recent decision to setup three regional offices of the NTCA in Nagpur, Guwahati andBengaluru, is expected to give a major boost to India''s tigerconservation efforts, Ministry of Environment and Forests saidin a statement here.
Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh welcomed the decision.
"This is a great step forward. There was a crying needfor decentralisation so that we can enhance the monitoring ofour conservation efforts and improve the quality andtimeliness of support we give the field directors of our 39tiger reserves across the country," the Minister said.
"There is no doubt that today''s decision will strengthenthe capacity of the NTCA to deliver on its mandate, andprovide new teeth to our tiger conservation efforts," Rameshadded.
The Government has revamped its tiger conservationefforts through setting up of NTCA by amending the Wildlife(Protection) Act, 1972 in 2006, based on the recommendationsof the Tiger Task Force constituted by the National Board forWildlife under the chairmanship of the Prime Minister.
"The strengthening of the headquarter setup and creationof three regional offices of the NTCA would facilitateguidance to states and monitoring in an ongoing manner at theregional level for addressing the ecological andadministrative concerns relating to tiger conservation," saidthe release.
The implementation at the national level would be doneby the NTCA headquarter, assisted by the three regionaloffices at Nagpur, Guwahati and Bengaluru, covering the 17tiger states (39 tiger reserves), it said.
Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Schemeof the Ministry, launched in 1973. Over the years, the projectcoverage has expanded from the initial 9 reserves (1,400sq km) to 39 reserves encompassing around 46,388.22 sq km.
India has the maximum number of tigers in the wild andtiger habitats in the world.