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    Karnataka says no to Centres tiger reserve proposals

    The Karnataka government today shot down theCentre's proposals to declare Kudremukh National Park as a tiger reserve andexpansion of Bhadra Tiger Reserve, saying area earmarked for the big cats isalready large in the state."The Centre had written to Karnataka to declare KNP asTiger Reserve and also extend the areas of Tiger Reserve at Bhadra Wildliferanges but the state has decided to reject the proposals...Area for tigerhabitats is already large (in the state). Tiger population has also increasedin the state," Forest Minister C P Yogeeshwara told the legislativeAssembly.The minister pointed out that Karnataka already have fivetiger reserves - Bandipur, Nagarahole, Anshi-Dandeli, Biligiri RanganathaswamyTemple (BRT) range and Bhadra wildlife ranges.A government order stating the state's stand on opposing theproposals would be issued soon, he said.Gopal Bhandari H (Congress) and Food and Civil SuppliesMinister D N Jeevaraj also opposed the move and said he was reflecting thesentiments of the people of the region who are opposed to the move.He said it was not right on the part of the Centre topressure the state in a federal system.M Raghupathi Bhat (BJP), who raised the matter during zerohour, said 1,500 tribal families in 142 villages would be impacted if tigerreserve were to come up there and wanted the government to reject the proposal.Rural Development Minister Jairam Ramesh during his tenureas the Environment and Forest Minister had made a strong pitch for declaringKNP as a Tiger Reserve.