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No money for U'khand tiger conservation plan till it inks pact



PTI, 23rd August,2009

New Delhi, Aug 23 (PTI) Uttarakhand Government's ambitious plan to acquire microlight aircraft for Corbett Tiger Reserve will have to wait with the Centre not ready to release funds to the state unless it signs a tripartite pact on conservation of the endangered species.

"Unless the state government signs a tripartite agreement with the us, no funds will be released. In simple words, it would not be able to acquire aircraft and motion sensors as demanded by it till then,"sources in National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) told PTI.

In June, Union Forest Minister Jairam Ramesh had agreed to the state government's Rs 8.5 crore comprehensive security plan spread over next six years which included purchase of an aircraft.

The aircraft was meant for air surveillance and for use during times of emergency in the park which has a rough terrain, making foot monitoring extremely difficult in its dense forests.

"We need easy connectivity and mobility which such an aircraft can provide. Patrolling in Corbett spread in the 1,000 square km area is not easy,"a senior official from Corbett Tiger Reserve said.

He said the state government is in the midst in finalising the nitty-gritty of the tripartite agreement to be signed with the Centre which makes the NTCA, the state government and tiger reserve's director accountable for the big cat conservation.

Corbett, which houses the maximum tigers in the world between 160-200, is always under threat from the poachers.

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