India one of safest habitats in world with 3,000 tigers: PM Modi

New Delhi: India becomes “one of the biggest and safest habitats” for tigers said Prime Minister Narendra Modi marking the International Tiger Day on Monday.

The Prime Minister also released the All India Tiger Estimation 2018. The tiger population in India has increased from 2,226 in 2014 to 2,967 in 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said here.

“Nine long years ago, it was decided in St. Petersburg that the target of doubling the tiger population would be 2022. We in India completed this target four years early,” He said releasing the results of the fourth cycle of All India Tiger Estimation at his official residence.

“The results of the just declared tiger census would make every Indian, every Nature lover happy,” he added.

He invoked two Bollywood movie titles to emphasise the need to expand and strengthen tiger conservation efforts. The story of protecting tigers that started with “Ek Tha Tiger” (there was once a tiger) and reached “Tiger Zinda Hai” (the tiger is alive) should not end there, he said, efforts towards conservation should be expanded and sped up.

The PM said that the development versus environment conservation debate will continue with both sides suggesting as if these are mutually exclusive, but it was possible to strike a healthy balance between the two. He said that while in the last five years, the focus was on to build next generation infrastructure in the country, there has also been an increase in the forest cover and number of protected areas.

“In 2014, the number of protected areas were 692, the number rose to more than 860 in 2019. Similarly, the number of community reserves were 43 in 2014 and rose to more than 100 in 2019,” he said. PM Modi also said India will build more homes for its citizens and also create quality habitats for animals at the same time.

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