PANAJI: Goa Foundation, the petitioner, today brought to the notice of the division bench of the Bombay High Court at Goa about the State government failure to adhere to the three-month deadline set by it to declare and notify the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and its surrounding areas as tiger reserve, that ended last week.
The High Court had on July 24 passed an order directing the State to declare Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as tiger reserve within three month. The State on October 20, filed an application before the Court seeking more time to implement the order, pending special leave petition (SLP) in the Supreme Court.
The petitioner today pointed out that the government has not taken any steps to notify Tiger Reserve till date. The Court has listed the matter for hearing on Wednesday, November 1.
The State government is of the clear view that with restrictions, par with those for Tiger Reserve already in force across wildlife sanctuaries, there is no need for an immediate notification to declare Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary as tiger reserve.
The High Court had also directed the State to prepare a tiger conservation plan as per the Wildlife Protection Act and submit it to the NTCA within three month.
Forest Minister and Valpoi MLA Vishwajit Rane had staunchly opposed the setting up of a tiger reserve in the State and had earlier stated that the State government would be challenging the order of the High Court in the Supreme Court
Beyond the state boundary, this belt is contiguous with tiger reserves and protected areas of Karnataka and Maharashtra. Together, this entire belt forms an integral uninterrupted wildlife habitat in the Western Ghats complex, secure for wildlife, according to the Goa Foundation.