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Not just Karnataka’s tiger reserves, whole of India's ecological environment is in crisis

By Shankar Sharma* 

The news article "Fund crunch hits Karnataka's tiger reserves" says: "The fanfare surrounding 50 years of tiger conservation seems to have tapered. Karnataka’s tiger reserves are in a crisis as the Centre has released only half the funds allocated in last year’s budget, thereby blocking the matching grant from the state government."
It should not be an exaggeration to state that it is not just the Karnataka’s tiger reserves which are in a crisis, but the whole ecological environment in the country has left a lot more to be desired, and it is even a matter of serious concern when we also objectively consider the context of the vast population base, fast looming threats of Climate Change, and the break neck speed of industrial & commercial activities across the length and breadth of the country due to various associated policies/ practices of the state and central governments.
The fast degrading base of the natural resources, especially the forest wealth and fresh water bodies, can be seen as loudly announcing it all continuously since the last 10- 15 years. But no one among our authorities seems to care for the same, even if one hears it.
The associated concerns are hugely more acute for states like Karnataka, which has only about 21% of its land area covered by forest and trees, and which has about 52% of its land area officially noted as drought prone.
The deeply troubling question is: is there any one in the policy making levels who can be seen as even remotely concerned about such a calamitous scenario in the near future on their own families, children and grandchildren.
*Power & Climate Policy Analyst



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