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With close to 3,000 tigers, PM says census of the big cats would make every Indian happy

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ANI General News
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday released the All India Tiger Estimation report 2018 on the occasion of International Tiger Day and stressed upon the need of striking a healthy balance between development and environment. He also termed India as one the world's biggest and safest tiger habitats.
The tiger population in the country in the year 2018 was recorded as 2,967, according to the report.
"Today, we reaffirm our commitment towards protecting the tiger. Results of the just declared tiger census would make every Indian happy. Nine long years ago, it was decided in St. Petersburg that target of doubling tiger population will be 2022. We completed this target 4 years early. Today we can proudly say that India, with about 3000 tigers, is one of the world's biggest and safest tiger habitats," Modi said at the occasion.
Outlining the necessity of striking a healthy balance between development and environment, he said, "In our policies, in our economics, we have to change the conversation about conservation. India will prosper economically and environmentally. The speed and dedication with which various stakeholders worked to achieve this is remarkable. India will build more roads and India will have cleaner rivers. India will have better train connectivity and also greater tree coverage".
"India will build more homes for our citizens and at the same time create quality habitats for animals. India will have a vibrant marine economy and healthier marine ecology. This balance is what will contribute to a strong and inclusive India", PM Modi added.
Further detailing the increase in the country's green cover, he said, "In 2014, India had 692 Protected Areas which have now increased to 860 in 2019. Similarly, community reserves have also increased from 43 in 2014 to over 100 now".
On a lighter note, PM Modi also invoked the reference of two popular Bollywood movies to back his point of conserving the big cats.
"I would like to tell the people associated with this field that the story which started with 'Ek Tha Tiger' and has reached to 'Tiger Zinda Hai' should not stop here. The only tiger being alive won't help. We have to intensify the steps related to tiger conservation and the speed of such initiatives must be intensified", he said.

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First Published: Jul 29 2019 | 11:08 AM IST

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