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Tamil Nadu to get four more wildlife sanctuaries

The New Indian Express, Chennai, 3rd May, 2013

Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa on Thursday announced that the State government would establish four more wildlife sanctuaries in Tamil Nadu in addition to the existing 10.

The new sanctuaries are Cauvery Wildlife Sanctuary covering forest areas in Dharmapuri and Krishnagiri districts, a special one for spotted deers at Gangaikondan in Tirunelveli district, Kodiyakkarai Wildlife Sanctuary covering forest areas in Nagapattinam, Thanjavur and Tiruvarur districts and Kodaikanal Wildlife Sanctuary covering areas in Dindigul and Theni districts.

Making a suo motu statement in the State Assembly, the Chief Minister recalled that already, her government had been implementing the Tamil Nadu Biodiversity Conservation and Greening Project at a cost of `686 crore with financial assistance from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). Under this project, during the current financial year, two crore saplings would be planted in 1,000 revenue villages at an expenditure of `97.66 crore, she said and added that `107.96 crore from the assistance given by the Japan International Cooperation Agency would be utilised for implementing afforestation programmes during 2013-14 and 2014-15.

The Chief Minister said the 13th Finance Commission had recommended `142.48 crore to Tamil Nadu for protecting forest resources and development of forest cover during the period 2010-11 to 2014-15.

Recalling the measures taken by her government to avoid human-animal conflict in the districts of Coimbatore, Dharmapuri, Erode, Dindigul and Tirunelveli and Valparai, the Chief Minister said during the current year, elephant-proof trenches would be created for a stretch of 440 km at a cost of `20 crore in the areas where elephants stray into human settlements.

Referring to the measures taken for the welfare of the Forest Department personnel during the past two years, the Chief Minister said in the current year, an integrated scheme to provide uniforms, washing allowance and risk allowance would be implemented at a cost of `2.13 cr. This would benefit 5,600 personnel, she added.