The arrival of four tiger cubs in Tadoba — considered as one of the flourishing habitats for the striped cats — has brought cheers to wildlife lovers. However the rampant coal mining in Chandrapur and its surrounding areas pose a grave threat to tiger conservation and protection. India's tiger population has dwindled from tens of thousands a century ago to a mere 1,411 according to the last census conducted in 2008.
The Indian government has allotted more than six new coal mines in the periphery of Tadoba tiger reserve where already half a dozen coal mines – including Padmapur and Durgapur coal mines of Western Coalfields and Karnataka EMTA Coal mines – are operating reports Hindustan Times.
The Times of India reports the conservation report released on Tuesday in New Delhi flatly contradicts the recent recommendations by the Chaturvedi Committee set up by the group of ministers (GOM) on coal. The Chaturvedi report recommends relaxing environmental safeguards to facilitate an expansion in coal mining, and abandoning India Ministry of Environment and Forests' 'go' and 'no go' forest classification.
Tadoba tiger reserve, one of the country's oldest national parks, was in the news recently for better big cat conservation and birth of 32 tiger cubs in the area since January 2010. Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve is consisting two declared regions, one is Tadoba National park and the other one is Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary.
The reserve's website says the park is named after the local God, “Taru”. Local people offer their prayers to “Tadoba Deo” and they generally believe that by offering prayers to Tadoba Deo and sprinkling the water of Tadoba lake on agricultural fields, any disease or pests on the crops would be cleared. The Sanctuary is named “Andhari Wildlife Sanctuary” after the river Andhari which flows through the Sanctuary. Area of Tadoba National Park is 116 sq.km. & Wildlife Sanctuary is 509 sq.km. i.e. total is 625 sq.km.