Development must not harm wildlife: CM

Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has said that conservation of forest areas and wildlife and development work in forest areas should be done in such a way that it does not adversely affect human life. There should be a balance between the two.

Road construction, communication development and other necessary works in the sanctuary and national park areas should be taken care of, without causing harm to wildlife. Chief Minister Shri Chouhan was addressing the 19th meeting of Madhya Pradesh State Wildlife Board on Thursday.

Forest Minister Kunwar Vijay Shah, Chief Secretary Iqbal Singh Bains, Principal Secretary Forest Ashok Barnwal and other officials were present in the meeting.

It was informed in the meeting that the Kuno National Park and Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary in the state may be congenial to create a habitat for cheetahs.

The Kuno National Park, which is located in about 750 square kilometers, is the only village in which the process of displacement is going on. Similarly, the Nauradehi Wildlife Sanctuary located in more than one thousand square kilometers is located in Sagar, Damoh and Narsinghpur districts. At present, 13 out of 63 villages have been displaced here.

The process of displacement of another 15 villages is in progress. In view of this, possibilities are being seen to establish African cheetahs in these protected areas of Madhya Pradesh. Work in this connection will speed up after seeking legal permissions. Senior Scientist of Wildlife Institute of India, Dehradun Dr Y.V. Jhala will conduct a primary survey on the compatibility of African Cheetahs in protected areas of Madhya Pradesh. For this, preparations have been started in Madhya Pradesh.

Permission for translocating 500 cheetahs from Narsinghgarh Sanctuary, Rajgarh for translocation of herbivorus wildlife in the proposed alternative protected area of Gandisagar Sanctuary Mandsaur has also been received.

Chouhan said that tourism development will be possible through activities like buffer mein safar. He congratulated Madhya Pradesh on becoming Leopard State too after Tiger State. The Chief Minister also expressed happiness over having 3421 leopards in the state. Chief Minister Chouhan said that the number of leopards in the state is around 3500 which is definitely an achievement.

There are a total of 12852 leopards in the country. After acquiring the status of tiger state and now leopard state, Madhya Pradesh has all the chances of becoming a pioneer in the category of other wildlife. Board member Abhilash Khandekar suggested that just as a leopard reserve is being developed in Rajasthan, it could be made possible in Madhya Pradesh too. Chief Minister Chouhan agreed to this suggestion of Khandekar.

Madhya Pradesh achieved the status of tiger state in the All India Tiger Census 2018 after 526 tigers were found in the state. Now after acquiring leopard status also, Madhya Pradesh ranks first followed by Karnataka second and Maharashtra third. The meeting also discussed funding of tiger habitats and protected areas from the schemes of the Government of India and the state government as well as through Campa Fund.

Discussion was also held on habitat management, protection of wildlife, fire protection, man-wildlife conflict management and translocation of tigers and herbivorous wildlife from dense areas to low density protected areas. For the preservation of wildlife in the state, 11 national parks and 24 wildlife sanctuaries have been set up in an area of ??16,794 square kilometers.