By Abhinav Malhotra
After the Lion Safari in Etawah, the Akhilesh government is set to give another boost to wildlife preservation and eco-tourism in the form of a tiger reserve in the Terai belt of the state. The reserve, that would house around 100 tigers, would be spread across Pilibhit, Balrampur, Bahraich, Shravasti and Lakhimpur Kheri.
While the state would provide the land, the Central government would fund the project. Outlining the government's plan, principal secretary (forest) VN Garg said, "The number of tigers is dwindling fast. A tiger reserve has been proposed in the Terai belt to conserve the tigers and promote eco-tourism in the state."
He added that the Terai belt was selected for the reserve owing to sufficient prey base. "The area already has around 35-40 tigers. The prey base in the region can easily support 100 tigers in the reserve. The notification regarding setting up of the tiger reserve will be issued next month," said Garg, who was in the city to attend a programme in the Forest Training Institute (FTI).
Refusing to divulge the details of funding of the reserve, he said that the project would be partly funded by the Central government. "The state government is committed to saving the tigers from extinction and bring UP on the world map by setting up such an unique reserve," he added.