Current Affairs

Mhadei, A Tiger Reserve?

The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests has asked the Goa government to submit a proposal declaring the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as a tiger reserve, which is expected to have a far reaching effect in the State.
Taking note of reports of tiger spotting in Goa and the evidence of tiger’s presence gathered by Forest Department officials and environmentalists, the Union Ministry has clearly stated that tiger is not a mere visitor to Goa but resident of it.
Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary was notified in 1999 and is surrounded but other wild life sanctuaries in Goa as well as neighbouring states of Maharashtra and Karnataka. Mahaveer, Bonda, Bhimgad, Anshi-Dandeli and reserve forests of Sawantwadi surround the 208 sq km Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.
Dr. Shashi Kumar, Chief Wildlife Warden of Goa said it will no be very difficult to prepare the proposal declaring Mhadei a tiger reserve, however he said it had to be done in consultation with the local people.
In the first place, if the area is declared a tiger reserve than all the people residing within it will have to be rehabilitated.
As a buffer zone is mandatory for a tiger reserve, mining operations in Pissurlem and Honda in Sattari taluka will also have to be stopped as they come within the buffer zone, even though at present, Goa does not have any buffer zone surrounding its wildlife sanctuaries.
Besides, mining operations in Sanguem, Bicholim and Dharbandora talukas are also likely to be affected as they lie on the periphery of the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary.

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