Karnataka wary of giving tiger reserve tag to Kudremukh

Karnataka wary of giving tiger reserve tag to Kudremukh

Forest Minister B Ramanath Rai on Friday said Karnataka was sceptical about acceding to the Centre’s proposal to give tiger reserve status to the Kudremukh national forest.

The government is not in a position to accept the oral approval given to the State on according tiger reserve tag to
Kudremukh, he told reporters.

“The Centre has already approved the tiger reserve tag. However, the State government is yet to take a decision. We are weighing the pros and cons of the proposal,” he added.
Forest officials say if Kudremukh gets the tag, as much as 660 square kilometers will become the natural habitat of tigers and there will be a severe curb on the movement of people in the vicinity.

Increasing pressure

They feel that Kudremukh is an ideal location for increasing the tiger habitation. As of now, there are only about 8-10 tigers in the Kudremukh national forest. The Forest department would love the tiger reserve tag for Kudremukh as there is increasing pressure on other tiger sanctuaries.

Experts too suggest that Kudremukh is a prospective location for tiger habitat. However, there is a lot of opposition from the local people as it would displace them.

According to Principal Chief Conservator of Forests G V Sugur, local people fear this would give scope for Naxalites to increase their activity in the area.

“People also fear that once tiger reserve status is given, there will be a lot of displacements,” he said. The State government’s nod is must for Kudremukh forest to get the tiger reserve status.

Appointments

The Forest department has started hiring 110 Range Forest Officers, 113 Deputy Range Forest Officer, 329 Forest Guards and 288 Forest Watchers. It has also hiked the salaries of all RFOs by Rs 1,500, those of DRFOs by Rs 1,200, those of Forest Guards by Rs 900 and Forest Watchers’ by Rs 700.

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