5036 . MUHAMMED HAMDULLA A. B. SAYEED
Will the Minister of ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS be pleased to state:-
(a) whether the Government has any proposal to merge wildlife protection programme- ‘Project Tiger’ with other programmes such as the ‘Project Elephant’ to have one scheme for wildlife protection;
(b) if so, the details thereof;
(c) whether it would adversely impact to conserve our national animal, the tiger;
(d) if so, the details thereof; and
(e) the steps taken by the Government to protect endangered species?
MINISTER OF STATE (INDEPENDENT CHARGE) FOR ENVIRONMENT AND FORESTS (SHRIMATI JAYANTHI NATARAJAN)
(a), (b), (c) & (d) A Sub-Committee to look into the restructuring of the Centrally Sponsored Schemes constituted under the Chairmanship of Shri B.K. Chaturvedi, Member, Planning Commission had proposed for merging the three schemes in the Wildlife Sector, viz., “Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats”, “Project Tiger” and “Project Elephant” into a single scheme. However, no final decision has been taken in this regard.
(e) The steps taken by the Government to protect the endangered species include:
i) The Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972, has been amended and made more stringent. The punishment for offences has been enhanced. The Act also provides for forfeiture of any equipment, vehicle or weapon that is used for committing wildlife offence(s).
ii) Protected Areas, viz., National Parks, Sanctuaries, Conservation Reserves and Community Reserves covering important wildlife habitats have been created all over the country under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 to conserve wild animals and their habitats.
iii) Financial and technical assistance is extended to the State/Union Territory Governments under various Centrally Sponsored Schemes, viz., ‘Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats`, ‘Project Tiger’ and ‘Project Elephant’ for providing better protection and conservation to wildlife including rare and endangered birds.
iv) Legal protection has been provided to endangered wild animals and plants against hunting and commercial exploitation under the provisions of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972.
v) The State/Union Territory Governments have been requested to strengthen the field formations and intensify patrolling in and around the Protected Areas.
vi) The Wildlife Crime Control Bureau has been set up to strengthen the enforcement of law for control of poaching and illegal trade in wildlife and its products.
vii) Strict vigil is maintained by officials of State Departments of Forests and Wildlife.