New Delhi: The ongoing dispute over Project Cheetah loans between the central government and the opposition Congress continued on Sunday after former union minister Jairam Ramesh called Prime Minister Narendra Modi a “pathological liar” and shared a photo of a 2009 letter.
On Saturday, PM Modi released cheetahs brought from Namibia to a special enclosure in Madhya Pradesh’s Kuno National Park as part of the program to reintroduce the cat to India, seven decades after it was declared extinct in the country in 1952.
“This was the letter that started Project Cheetah in 2009. Our PM is a pathological liar. I couldn’t get my hands on this letter yesterday because of my involvement with the #BharatJodoYatra,” Ramesh tweeted.
According to the letter dated October 6, 2009, Jairam Ramesh, who was Minister of State (independent responsibility) for Environment and Forests during the then United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government, had written a letter to the Wildlife Trust of India (WTI). to give the go-ahead for the development of a detailed roadmap for cheetah introductions at various potential sites.
The letter said the analysis should be carried out by the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) with organizations such as the Bombay Natural History Society (BNHS) and WTI, which would make the state forest authorities part of this study. “I expect the roadmap to be presented to the MoE&F by the end of January 2010,” the letter said.
Congress Secretary-General Jitendra Singh previously tweeted a timeline of Project Cheetah’s events to claim the initiation of the project during the UPA administration.
Federal spokesman of the BJP Tom Vadakkan suggested at the convention. “Jairam Ramesh or someone in Congress visiting a zoo somewhere… They need credit for that… Well, what do we give credit for? [sic]he tweeted.
Also read: 70 years after going extinct, cheetahs are returning to India in the world’s largest conservation effort
Political dispute over Project Cheetah
The first shot was fired at Modi on Saturday criticized previous governments for not making “constructive efforts” to reintroduce the cheetah. “It is unfortunate that we declared cheetahs extinct in 1952, but no constructive efforts have been made to reintroduce them to India for decades,” he said.
“Project Cheetah, which reintroduced cheetahs to the country after they went extinct seven decades ago, is our commitment to protecting the environment and wildlife. Cheetahs are our guests; We should give them a few months to make Kuno National Park their home,” he added.
In 2009, the then UPA government designed the “African Cheetah Introduction Project”. The plan to introduce the spotted cat to the KNP by November last year has been halted due to the Covid pandemic.
In January, Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav started the “Action Plan for the Introduction of Cheetahs in India”.
“Upon receiving the report of the consultation meeting in Gajner, Shri. Jairam Ramesh – Minister for Environment and Forests (2009-11), Government of India (GoI) granted Dr. MK Ranjitsinh, Wildlife Trust of India & Dr. YV Jhala, Wildlife Institute of India, instructions to create a detailed roadmap for cheetah reintroduction, which had to include a detailed analysis of various potential sites”. action plan document written down.
“In accordance with the decisions made in Gajner and the guidance of the Ministry of Forestry and Environment (GoI), ten sites in seven landscapes in the states of Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh (MP), Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (Figure 2) were established between interviewed in 2010 and 2012,” she added.
(Edited by Tony Rai)
Also read: “Rewilding difficult for animals” – Cheetah conservation challenges start with Kuno