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Centre to set up Wildlife Crime Bureau: Raja

By Staff
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Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, Feb 22 (UNI) The Centre will soon set up a Wildlife Crime Bureau (WCB) to tackle the menace of poaching endangered spices in forests and sanctuaries across the country, Union Environment Minister A Raja today said.

Speaking to UNI here, Mr Raja said the Union Cabinet had already given its consent for the WCB and it will be set up in about two months.

To be modelled on the lines of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), the WCB will be headed by a Chairman in the rank of Director General of Police. The body will be vested with adequate powers to prosecute offenders.

The bureau is being set up on the recommendations of a Task Force headed by Centre for Science and Environment Director Sunita Narain which examined the causes for rapid decline in Tiger population.

Mr Raja also expressed hope that amendments to the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972 will be passed during the current Parliament Session.

After its passage, the act will be called as 'National Tiger Authority Act.' The law will enable the Centre to take part in operations of 28 tiger reserves in the country in terms of deployment of personnel and protection of the animals, he added.

On afforestation, the Minister said the Centre was committed to enhance the green cover from the current 23.5 per cent to 33 per cent by 2012. This will require massive funding and hence private participation is necessary, Mr Raja said.

UNI GSM AK SND1110

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