PANAJI: Minister Subhash Phaldessai stated that “no one should teach us on how to protect the environment” in reference to the subject of designating the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and neighboring territories as a tiger reserve.
According to Phaldesai, the state government has already made the decision to appeal the HC verdict.
Regarding the tiger reserve issue, Phaldessai stated that after the territories are designated as a tiger reserve, at least 600 people from his constituency will have to be evicted.
He also stated that people living in the forest are already having issues as a result of the notification of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary.
“We can’t deal with any more challenges. We currently struggle to obtain approval from the forest authorities even to build dwellings on our own properties in these regions,” he said.
“Respect for the environment is ingrained in the culture of those who live near forests. The minister argued that nobody should instruct us on how to preserve the environment.
The High Court of Bombay at Goa had recently directed the state government to notify the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and other areas as a tiger reserve under Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 within three months and pulled up the government for continuing “to steadfastly avoid notifying the tiger reserve”.
In its ruling on a petition seeking directions to the state government to notify the sanctuary as a tiger reserve, the high court had said that “we cannot allow the tiger, which is a national animal, to fall into a death trap” and ruled that the National Tiger Conservation Authority’s repeated recommendations to set up a tiger reserve were not merely recommendations but also directives that would need to be mandatorily complied with.