'Funds generated by tiger parks should be used for their dev'

"The states are minting huge profits including foreign exchange from wildlife tourism but when it comes to investment, parks and sanctuaries as well locals are last on their mind," Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh, who has written a letter to all state chief ministers on the issue said.

The Union Minister has also asked the states to set up Tiger Conservation Foundation (TCF) at the earliest which would ensure that the gate receipts are retained by the tiger reserves itself.

There are 37 tiger reserves across the country in around 17 states which are overseen by the Tiger Project constituted by the Centre.

However, while the Centre has been funding the management of the reserves, the revenue from the tourists visiting the parks goes to the state exchequer.

"Under the tripartite agreement to be signed between Centre, State and Reserve director, there is a provision for setting up TCF in every tiger reserve. Money for the Foundation has to come from the gate receipts," Ramesh said.

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