Porvorim: Goa minister Vishwajit Rane said the state government will challenge Monday’s Supreme Court order by the Bombay High Court to notify the Mahadei Wildlife Sanctuary and its surrounding areas as a tiger sanctuary.
A division bench comprising Justices MS Sonak and Bharat Deshpande directed the state government to take necessary steps to prepare a tiger conservation plan envisaged by the Wildlife Protection Act and hand over the Mahadei Wildlife Sanctuary and other areas to the National Tiger Conservation Authority within three months of its notification as a tiger sanctuary.
Local NGO Goa Foundation had filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) seeking a direction to the state government to notify tiger sanctuaries as required by the NTCA.
Claiming that the state “respects the High Court’s decision”, Rane said the state government is exploring all avenues, including challenging it in the Supreme Court.
“As a state, we are sensitive to the environment, but at the same time, you have to understand the ground realities. Villages marked while creating wildlife sanctuaries are still awaiting rehabilitation,” Rane claimed.
He added that the Goa government has taken a decision against setting up tiger sanctuaries keeping in mind the welfare of the people living in these areas.
The Forest Minister said that the strategy in the matter will be decided after discussing with Chief Minister Pramod Sawant.