By Vijay Pinjarkar
Maharashtra forest minister Patangrao Kadam has said he was open for a CBI inquiry into tiger poaching cases in the region.
Although senior forest officials didn't appear keen for a CBI probe, Kadam asked chief wildlife warden SWH Naqvi to move a proposal in this regard.
At a time when tiger poaching is at its peak, Kadam's statement about tiger population in Maharashtra going up from 170 to 200 seems to be contradictory.
The recent arrest of five organized poachers, belonging to the Baheliya community, from Katni in Madhya Pradesh, has revealed that separate gangs have killed several tigers in and around the parks in Vidarbha.
Forest department had set up a five-member committee to probe the poaching incidents, but, it did not do anything worthwhile. Admitting that this was a serious issue, Kadam said, "We will hold a discussion at the government level about CBI probe."
On the ambitious Gorewada international zoo project, Kadam said Rs 5 crore has been released. Besides, administrative sanction has been granted to Rs 27 crore revised budget for the rescue centre.
However, Kadam was shocked to learn that all the posts in Gorewada are lying vacant. He asked the head of forest force (HoFF) A K Joshi, "What was going on?" Both Joshi and FDCM MD A K Nigam assured Kadam that these posts will be filled soon. More....