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Project Tiger Scheme

Project Tiger Scheme has been under implementation since 1973 as a Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Government of India.

Objective

The main objective of Project Tiger is to ensure a viable population of tiger in India for scientific , economic , aesthetic , cultural and ecological values and to preserve for all time, areas of biological importance as a natural heritage for the benefit, education and enjoyment of the people. Main objectives under the scheme include wildlife management, protection measures and site specific ecodevelopment to reduce the dependency of local communities on tiger reserve resources.

Initially, the Project started with 9 tiger reserves, covering an area of 16,339 sq.km., with a population of 268 tigers. At present there are 27 tiger reserves covering an area of 37761 sq.km., with a population of 1498 tigers. This amounts to almost 1.14% of the total geographical area of the country. The selection of reserves was guided by representation of ecotypical wilderness areas across the biogeographic range of tiger distribution in the country. Project Tiger is undisputedly a custodian of major gene pool. It is also a repository of some of the most valuable ecosystem and habitats for wildlife.

Tiger Reserves are constituted on a 'core-buffer' strategy. The core area is kept free of biotic disturbances and forestry operations, where collection of minor forest produce, grazing, human disturbances are not allowed within. However, the buffer zone is managed as a ‘multiple use area’ with twin objectives of providing habitat supplement to the spill over population of wild animals from the core conservation unit, and to provide site specific ecodevelopmental inputs to surrounding villages for relieving their impact on the core. Except for the National Parks portion if contained within, normally no relocation of villages is visualised in the buffer area, and forestry operations, NTFP collection and other rights and concessions to the local people are permitted in a regulated manner to complement the initiatives in the core unit.

Project Tiger has put the tiger on an assured course of recovery from the brink of extinction, and has resurrected the floral and faunal genetic diversity in some of our unique and endangered wilderness ecosystem. The population of tigers in the country has increased significantly to about 4000 from less than 2000 at the time of launch of the project.

The effective protection and concerted conservation measures inside the reserves have brought about considerable intangible achievements also, viz. arresting erosion, enrichment of water regime thereby improving the water table and overall habitat resurrection. Labour intensive activities in tiger reserves have helped in poverty alleviation amongst the most backward sections, and their dependence on forests has also reduced. The project has been instrumental in mustering local support for conservation programme in general.

Approach:
  • Elimination of all forms of human exploitation and disturbance from the core and rationalisation of such activities in the buffer.
  • Limitation of the habitat management to repair damage done by man.
  • Researching facts about habitat and wild animals and carefully monitoring changes in flora and fauna.
There has not been any major problem in release of the budget outlay in the last three years under the scheme. However, actual utilisation of funds has been affected due to delay in release of funds by the State Government to the field units. This matter has been discussed in the Steering Committee of the Project Tiger meeting held on 8.5.2000. On the part of this Ministry , it has been decided to release the first instalment of Central assistance without waiting for the submission of UCs. However the second instalment is released only after obtaining UCs.
In order to monitor the expenditure it is proposed to request the State Government to furnish, its allocation along with the quarterly financial and physical targets of Annual Plan of operations.
 
IX PLAN ACHIEVEMENT OF PROJECT TIGER DIVISION
  • During the VIII plan period the budget outlay for Project Tiger Scheme was Rs. 40.00 Crores. During the IX plan the budget outlay was substantially increased to rs. 75.00 Crores.
  • During the IX Plan, Project Allowance to an extant of Rs. 3.95 Crores to field level
    staff was funded under this scheme for the first time.
  • During this Plan period funds to an extant of Rs. 2.49 Crores has been released for creation of Strike Force to combat the growing insurgency and extremist situations within the Tiger Reserves.
  • During the Plan period four new Tiger Reserves were declared, namely
No.
Tiger Reserve
State
Year of Formation
Area(sq. Kms.)
Funds released
1
Bhadra Karnataka
1998-99
492
318.459
2
Pench Maharashtra
1998-99
257
223.421
3
Pakui-Nameri Arunachal Pradesh / Assam
1999-2000
1206
93.100
4
Bori-Satpura Panchmarhi Madhya Pradesh
1999-2000
1486
75.220
 
     
3441
710.200
  • The effective protection and concerted conservation measures inside the reserves have brought about considerable intangible achievements also viz. arresting erosion, enrichment of water regime and thereby improving the water table and overall habitat resurrection. Labour intensive activities in tiger reserves have helped in poverty alleviation of the most backward sections and their dependence on forests has also reduced. The project has been instrumental in mustering local support for conservation programme in general.
  • During the X Plan, it is envisaged to carry out on the Project with further impetus on people’s support for conservation of nature and natural resources.
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