No final decision on tiger reserve in Goa, Assembly told

Panaji: No final decision has been taken to convert Goa’s four wildlife sanctuaries into a tiger reserve, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar informed the Assembly on Wednesday.

“There will be no impact on local population and farming as a large number of villages have been kept in the buffer zone. However, no final decision has been taken on this proposal,” Parrikar said in a written reply to a question by Congress MLA Filipe Neri Rodrigues.

“The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) had mooted the proposal for the tiger reserve in Goa after the All India Tiger Estimation, 2014. As the protected areas of Goa form a contiguous corridor with the Kali Tiger Reserve in Karnataka, a proposal to set up a tiger reserve in Goa was discussed at a meeting of the State Board for Wildlife in 2016,” Parrikar said.

Goa’s Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary, Bhagwan Mahavir Wildlife Sanctuary and National Park, Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary, and Cotigao Wildlife Sanctuary are proposed to be included in the reserve.

The replies by the Chief Minister — currently hospitalised in Mumbai for a pancreas-related ailment — were tabled by Public Works Department Minister Sudin Dhavalikar, chosen as the leader of the treasury benches in Parrikar’s absence.