Goa minister on tiger reserve

Panaji: Goa Minister Subhash Phal Desai on Saturday spoke on the issue of declaring the Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary and surrounding areas as a tiger reserve by claiming “no one should teach us on how to protect the environment”.

The Goa Bench of Bombay High Court last month ordered that the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary and surrounding areas be declared as a tiger reserve.

Phal Desai said the state government has already decided to challenge the HC order.

Speaking about the tiger reserve issue, Phal Desai said at least 600 people from his constituency will have to be displaced after the areas are declared as a tiger reserve, adding that people living in the forest are already facing difficulties due to notification of Netravali Wildlife Sanctuary.

“We can’t face more difficulties. Right now even to construct houses on our own properties in these areas, we have to struggle to get permissions from the forest authorities,” he claimed.

“People living in the forest areas have respect for the environment as part of their culture. No one should teach us how to protect the environment,” the minister asserted.

Earlier, state forest minister Vishwajit Rane had said the Goa government would approach the Supreme Court against the HC order.

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