Matanhy wants to review Mhadei sanctuary

PTI, PANAJI | 20 March 2012 16:09 IST

Goa government has decided to study the proposal of denotifying certain parts of Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary to make it sure that it is not a move by the mining giants.

"We want to study whether the demand for denotification of (parts of) Mhadei Wildlife Sanctuary is for the sake of people or for the sake of mining industry," State Forest Minister Matanhy Saldanha told reporters on the sidelines of the State Legislative Assembly session.

He said that the interest of the people living in the sanctuary should be protected.

"There is no threat to the wildlife from the locals living in it," the minister said.

"While protecting the people living in the sanctuary, efforts should be made to ensure that the habitation within the area does not increase," Saldanha said.

Several villagers living in the sanctuary had demanded that their areas should be kept out as strict rules related to the forest are affecting their livelihood.

The sanctuary, which is spread across 208 sq km, is located in the North Eastern part of the state.

Manohar Parrikar-led government has said that they are examining the possibility of notifying the sanctuary as a tiger reserve.

"We are examining whether we can declare it as a tiger reserve," Saldanha said refusing to commit anything.

"If there are tigers, then we need to protect them," he commented. The sanctuary was in the news after half a dozen villagers from Keri were arrested in the year 2010 for killing tigers.

Several instances of tiger sightings are reported from this sanctuary.

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