The Maharashtra government's move to revive the Human dam project at Tadoba in Chandrapur district is being strongly opposed by environmentalists saying that it would have far-reaching consequences on the tiger habitat.
At an expert committee meeting held in Mantralaya, convened by Vikas Kharge, principal secretary to Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, environmentalists registered their strong opposition to the project.
In the meeting, Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) director Dr Deepak Apte, Satpuda Foundation founder Kishor Rithe, Eco-Pro president Bandu Dhotre, who are also NGO members, opposed the project.
"We have opposed the Human dam project," said Rithe.
The irrigation project is to be built across Human river in Wainganga/Godavari basin near Sirkada village in Sindewadi tehsil of Chandrapur district. The Human river is a tributary of Andhari river, which ultimately joins Wainganga.
The submergence and downstream area between Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve and Brahmapuri Forest Division is a tiger corridor that connects other tiger source populations in the Satpuda-Maikal tiger landscape. Tadoba landscape is home to over 160 tigers, environmentalists pointed out.
A BNHS report pointed out that the villages that would be fully submerged are Palasgaon, Piapra-Perna, Sirkada, Vihirgaon, Manemohadik, Khambada, Gondeda, Kewada, Pendhari is the narrowest tiger corridor between Chandrapur and Brahmapuri forest divisions. Besides tiger, the area has a good population of leopards, sloth bear and wild dogs.