NATIONAL TIGER CONSERVATION AUTHORITY(NTCA)
The Government of India has taken a pioneering initiative for conserving its national animal, the tiger, by launching the ‘Project Tiger’ in 1973. From 9 tiger reserves since its formative years, the Project Tiger coverage has increased to 44 at present, spread out in 17 of our tiger range states. This amounts to around 2.08% of the geographical area of our country. The tiger reserves are constituted on a core/buffer strategy. The core areas have the legal status of a national park or a sanctuary, whereas the buffer or peripheral areas are a mix of forest and non-forest land, managed as a multiple use area. The Project Tiger aims to foster an exclusive tiger agenda in the core areas of tiger reserves, with an inclusive people oriented agenda in the buffer. Project Tiger is an ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of the Ministry of Environment and Forests, providing central assistance to the tiger States for tiger conservation in designated tiger reserves.
The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) is a statutory body of the Ministry, with an overarching supervisory / coordination role, performing functions as provided in the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972. The ADG (Project Tiger) and his officers also service the NTCA. The Regional Offices of the NTCA have been recently established at Bengaluru, Guwahati and Nagpur, each headed by an IGF and assisted by an AIG. The allocation for Project Tiger during the XII Plan is Rs 1245 crore. The expenditure during 2012-13 and 2013-14 are Rs 163.87 crore and 169.48 crore respectively.
Providing central assistance to States under the ongoing Centrally Sponsored Scheme of Project Tiger for 44 tiger reserves, for activities (recurring / non-recurring), as reflected in the Annual Plan of Operations of tiger reserves, based on their Tiger Conservation Plans is an important activity. This, interalia, includes protection, habitat amelioration, day to day monitoring, eco-development for local people in buffer areas, voluntary relocation of people from core/critical tiger habitats, and addressing human-wildlife conflicts, within the ambit of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 and guidelines of Project Tiger / National Tiger Conservation Authority.
The NTCA / Project Tiger also conducts the country level assessment of the status of tiger, co-predators, prey and habitat once in four years, using the refined methodology, as approved by the Tiger Task Force.