Tiger Reserves Current Affairs - 2020

AIIB sanctions 145 million USD loan for Major Irrigation Project of West Bengal

On May 15, 2020, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank approves a loan of 145 million USD to improve irrigation facilities and flood management West Bengal

Highlights

The project is to focus on the Damodar Valley of West Bengal. It will benefit more than 2.7 million farmers spread across five districts of West Bengal. The total value of the project is 413.8 million USD. Apart from the AIIB, the project is also co-financed by IBRD (International Bank of Reconstruction and Development).

The IBRD and the IDA (International Development Association) together constitute the World Bank. Though there are other major partners of the world bank, these two have role in terms of decision making and approving grants.

Damodar River

The river flows across the states of Jharkhand and West Bengal. The river is called “Sorrow of Bengal”. The river got the name as if ravages floods in the plains of Bengal. Some of the major tributaries of Damodar river include Haharo, Barakar, Bokaro, Konar, Ghari, Jamunia, Khadia, Guaia and Bhera.

The river flows through Chhota Nagpur Plateau

Chhota Nagpur Plateau

It is a plateau in the eastern India. It covers the state of Odisha, Chhattisgarh and West Bengal. The Palamau Tiger Reserve and Sanjay National Park lies in the plateau. Around 6% of the plateaus lie in the protected area zone.

The plateau is the major store house of minerals such as limestone, iron ore, copper, bauxite, mica and coal.

CAG Report: 40% of Environment Related Crimes in India are from Rajasthan

On March 6, 2020, the Comptroller and Auditor General tabled the report for the year that ended on 31st March 2018 (2017-18). The report was tabled in the assembly. According to the report, between 2014 and 2016, 40% of environmental crimes in India were from Rajasthan.

Key Findings of the Report

The report pointed out that Wildlife Crime Control units were not established in the state. The crimes violated Forest (Conservation) act and Wildlife Protect Act.

Between 2014 and 2016, the number of environmental crimes registered in the country were 15,723 and those registered in Rajasthan were 6,382.

Forest Reserves

The Ranthambhore Tiger Reserve and Sariska Tiger Reserve were not regulated due to the absence of Local Advisory Committee. In Ranthambhore, 5 out of 10 core areas were not closed in monsoon season.

Irritants

The CAG identified several irritants to the wild life in the area. The Abheda Biological Park in Kota had garbage dumping yard nearby. The other concerns were firing range of the army, industrial areas and slums.