Vigilant authorities have curtailed big plans to hold Tiger Safaris in the Pench national Park in Madhya Pradesh that is famous as the home to Mowgli, the boy in Rudyard Kipling’s ‘The Jungle Book’ that inspired a TV serial two decades ago and this year a Hollywood film with the same title this year.
Alerted by serious construction activities inside the Pench Park violating norms, National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) under the Ministry of Environment and Forests, has asked the state government to rescind on its plans for safari inside the park.
The Central Zoo Authority (CZA) too stepped in saying several violations of wildlife norms have been reported from the state and asked Madhya Pradesh forest department to stop the planned tiger safari in the Pench National Park.
It categorically said, "No approval has been granted for creation of safari at Pench tiger reserve or Bandhavgarh tiger reserve. Therefore, no construction work should be carried out," bringing cheer to wildlife activists who are opposing tiger safari in Pench and in Bandhavgarh national parks.
NTCA said the construction of tiger safari inside Pench would be detrimental to tiger population and their movement inside the park and also expose them to ‘poaching’. Madhya Pradesh has third highest tiger population in the country after Karnataka and Uttarakhand.
Apart from Pench and Bandhavgarh, Madhya Pradesh has four more tiger reserves — Kanha, Panna, Bori-Satpura and Sanjay-Dubri boasting a tiger population of about 257, while the country as a whole has 2,226 as per the latest census.