Yet another tiger was run over by a train between Budhni and Mid-Ghat area in Sehore district of Madhya Pradesh on Saturday morning. Earlier, an adult tiger and a leopard were found dead under mysterious circumstances at the same spot on February 23.
This is the fourth tiger to have died in the state in the last two months, 35th since 2016. The first one to have died was a tigress — coded T1 — found near Sarvahi village in Shehdol district on January 21. Sources say that a wrong chain-fencing around the mid-ghat railway track might be causing frequent deaths at this spot.
Earlier in 2015, an adult male tiger, hit by a speeding train at the same spot, had died due to an undue delay on the part of the department’s rescue team. The tiger was found at the same place near the mid-ghat area of Sehore district.
Ratapani, which recorded a population of eight breeding tigers in the area, has not yet been notified as a tiger reserve despite an in-principle approval from National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) in 2008. Ratapani is spread over 890 sqkm in the Bhopal-Raisen forest division.
This is being delayed to facilitate developmental projects in the area. NHAI wants to widen the existing 4/6 lane NH-12 section from Bhopal to Bareli through Ratapani. There’s also upgradation work on Obaidullagunj to Rehti Road that passes through Ratapani.
Recently, Madhya Pradesh high court admitted a petition over the delay in notifying Ratapani area as a tiger reserve. The petition was moved by RTI activist Ajay Dubey through his counsel Siddhartha Radhelal Gupta.
Notices were served to the department of forest, PCCF Wildlife, State Wildlife Board, National Tiger Conservation Authority and environment ministry asking them to reply as to why the proposed Ratapani Reserve has not been notified till date despite approval by NTCA.
A proposal for notification of Ratapani as a tiger reserve was moved in the backdrop of rising tiger population in the sanctuary and big cats repeatedly straying into Kerwa forests in Bhopal district resulting in man-animal conflicts.
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Originally Published In The Times Of India