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New Delhi : The Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs chaired by PM Narendra Modi has approved continuation of the Centrally Sponsored Umbrella Scheme of Integrated Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-IDWH) beyond the 12thPlan period from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

The Scheme consists of  Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger (CSS-PT), Development of Wildlife Habitats (CSS-DWH) and Project Elephant (CSS-PE). The total outlay is Rs 1,731.72 crore as central share (Rs 1,143 crore for Project Tiger, Rs 496.50 crore for Development of Wildlife Habitats and Rs 92.22 crore for Project Elephant) from 2017-18 to 2019-20.

A total of 18 tiger range States, spread over five landscapes of the country, would benefit from the Project Tiger scheme. Similarly, for other two schemes, the coverage is entire country in case of Development of Wildlife Habitats (DWH) and 23 elephant range States for Project Elephant. It  would foster wildlife conservation in general with specific inputs for tiger in Project Tiger area and elephant in Project Elephant area.

Besides immense environmental benefits and effective implementation of tiger conservation inputs in and around tiger reserves under Project Tiger, wildlife conservation inputs in Protected Areas & nearby areas under Development of Wildlife Habitats and Elephant conservation inputs in Project Elephant areas, the schemes would result in overall strengthening/ consolidation of tiger, elephant and wildlife conservation in the country.

The schemes would address the human wildlife conflict effectively. Besides, the communities opting for voluntary relocation from the Core/Critical Tiger Habitat (6,900 families) would be benefitted under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger (CSS-PT) and 800 families under Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Development of Wildlife Habitat, according to a PIB release.

These schemes would generate employment opportunities resulting in economic uplift of people in and around tiger reserves/ Protected Areas besides leading to reduction in natural resource dependency with substitution by clean energy use. It will generate direct employment of about 30 lakh mandays annually which shall include many local tribes besides non-tribal local workforce. People living in vicinity would also get indirect benefits. Local populace would get opportunities to serve as guides, driver, hospitality personnel and in other ancillary jobs. The implementation of the schemes would be done through the respective States in designated Tiger Reserves, Protected Areas and Elephant Reserves.

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