Maharashtra is set to get its sixth tiger reserve with the state wildlife board deciding to make the Bor Wildlife Sanctuary a tiger reserve, increasing the tiger habitat by 530 sq km. Four new wildlife sanctuaries of Umred-Karandla, new Nagzira, new Bor and new Navegaon were also created by the state Wildlife Board, which held its first meeting since its reconstitution, on Thursday.
“We approved the proposal to create a new tiger reserve and also decided to make provisions for a GIB (Great Indian Bustard) breeding centre in the state,” said Sarjan Bhagat, principal chief conservator of forests, wildlife.
The state will set aside a three-kilometre area for captive breeding of the Great Indian Bustard at Nanaj GIB sanctuary in Solapur, for which Rs 20 crore will be used for a period of 10 years. This proposal will be sent to the Centre for approval on the condition that the government of Rajasthan, which has the highest population of GIBs, provides eggs or chicks for the conservation programme. The GIB sanctuary will be reduced from 1229 sq km to 366 sq km, eliminating areas that earlier included villages. The forest department has to notify an equivalent area from the state.
Meanwhile, the board rejected Unitech’s proposal to build a cement factory in the eco-sensitive zone of SGNP and a manganese mining project that was to come up close to Pench Tiger Reserve in Nagpur.