National Tiger Conservation Authority
Project Tiger was launched in 1973 with nine reserves in 1973-74. The project was first started as a central scheme. Later, it was transformed into Centrally Sponsored Scheme, whereby centre and states shared equal expenditures. The National Tiger Conservation Authority was launched in 2005, following recommendations of the Tiger Task Force. It was given statutory status by 2006 amendment of the Wildlife Protection Act.
Structure of NTCA
Environment Minister is the Chairman of the NTCA. Below chairman are eight experts or professionals having qualifications and experience in wildlife conservation and welfare of people including tribals, apart from three Members of Parliament (1 Rajya Sabha, 2 Lok Sabha). The Inspector General of Forests, in charge of project Tiger, serves as ex-officio Member Secretary.
NTCA is the overarching body for conservation of tigers in India. Its main administrative function is to approve the Tiger Conservation Plan prepared by the State Governments and then evaluate and assess various aspects of sustainable ecology and disallow any ecologically unsustainable land use such as, mining, industry and other projects within the tiger reserves.
As per the WLPA, every State Government has the authority to notify an area as a tiger reserve. However, the Tiger Conservation Plans sent by state government need to be approved by the NTCA first. Alternatively, Central Government via NTCA may advise the state governments to forward a proposal for creation of Tiger Reserves. Every year, the Central Government puts the annual report of the National Tiger Conservation Authority in each House of Parliament. Other Functions of NTCA are as follows:
- Regulation and standardization of tourism activities
- Provide for management focus and measures for addressing conflicts of men and wild animals.
- Provide information on protection measures.
- Ensure that the tiger reserves and areas linking one protected area or tiger reserve with another protected area or tiger reserve are not diverted for ecologically unsustainable uses, except in public interest and with the approval of the National Board for Wild Life and on the advice of the Tiger Conservation Authority.
- Facilitate and support the tiger reserve management in the State.
- Ensure critical support including scientific, information technology and legal support for better implementation of the tiger conservation plan.