The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has given in-principle approval for creation of Guru Ghasidas-Tamor Pingla tiger reserve in Chhattisgarh.
The NTCA here has sought a final proposal from the state administration in this regard, officials said.
The proposal to declare Guru Ghasidas National Park as a tiger reserve was proposed in June 2011 by the then Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Environment and Forests Jairam Ramesh to Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh.
The national park lies between two important tiger reserves-- Bandhavgarh (Madhya Pradesh) and Palamau (Jharkhand)-- and is also contiguous with the Sanjay-Dubri tiger reserve (Madhya Pradesh) is about 450 km away from state capital Raipur.
The area was surveyed by the Wildlife Institute of India in 2010. Though the prey population in the habitat is low at present, it has considerable diversity. Therefore, with good management and protection under Project Tiger, the area has a potential for supporting a viable tiger population along with the Sanjay-Dubri tiger reserve, Ramesh had said.
"This would ensure the largest landscape within the part of central India for tiger conservations," he had said in the letter and sought a proposal from the state government in this regard.
The in-principle approval for creation of the reserve has been given and a final proposal has been sought from the Chhattisgarh government, said the letter written by NTCA to the state and accessed by wildlife activist Ajay Dubey, who hails from state's Korea district, in response to an RTI query.
Chhattisgarh has three tiger reserves-- Indravati, Udanti-Sitanadi and Achanakmar. It has an 26 tigers in its reserves, according to an NTCA data on the big cats census of 2010. The country has an estimated 1,706 tigers in its various reserves, the data said.