The Rajasthan government is in a spot following a CAG report indicating it for failing to save tigers in the state.
The report said the poplulation has reduced drastically from 47 in 2004 to 26 in 2006 in Ranthambore Tiger Reserve and from 16 to nil in Sariska Tiger Reserve. "This shows the failure of project authorities and monitoring system at government level" said the report.
"Project Tiger" was launched in 1973 as a Centrally-Sponsered scheme. It covered Ranthambore and Sariska Tiger Reserves to help conserve Tigers and preserve the eco-system. "The objective of saving tigers from imminent extinction seems far from being realised as effective measures to stop degradation and fragmentation of thier habitats were not taken during 2000-2006." the report said.
There were delays in transferring funds, failure in fixing time schedules for achieving targets and improper management of the reserves, it added.
According to the report. the presence of 74 villages inside the protected areas (PAs) of the sanctuaries are the main cause of the depletion of forest areas. Chopping trees for timber, fuel etc causes great damage to the habitat of animals.
To minimise the negative impact of these villages on the PAs, relocation of these villages was essential. However, of four villages in Ranthambore only one village, Padra, was sanctioned a relocation package of Rs 1.46 crore in August 2001.
While the process was to be completed by March 2003, scrutiny revealed that out of 111 families, only 59 were relocated after incurring an expenditure of Rs90.76 lakh in March 2006. Remaining 52 familiescould not be relocated due to allotment of unsuitable agricultral land and delays in constructing houses.
The report availability of communication network equipment and arms for protecting wildlife in tiger reserves was insufficient. "Against the requirement of 26 revolvers and 73 guns in both the reserves, only seven revolvers and eight guns were available."
"Schemes and works executed under India-Eco Development Project such as providing of LPG connections, immunisation of cattle among others could also not achieve the desired objectives." CAG said.
As stated by The Times of India, Dated 20/03/2006. Page 6.