Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: After much planning and negotiations, Odisha will start getting the tigers from Madhya Pradesh (MP) for the Satkosia Tiger Reserve starting June.

Forest and Environment Minister, Bijayshree Routray on Monday informed that it is for the first time that tiger relocation is being done in the state.

"Initially one tiger will be relocated from Madhya Pradesh in June and subsequently remaining tigers would be released in Satkosia," said Routray after the performance review meeting of the Forest and Environment department chaired by CM Naveen Patnaik.

The Minister further informed that the tigers would be brought in cages and first released in an enclosure with proper fencing.

The entire relocation of the big cats will take place under the supervision of Wildlife Institute of India (WII) officials.

At present, the 963 sq-km Satkosia Tiger Reserve has only two old tigers — a male and a female, both over the age of 13, official sources said.

Besides, Routray stated that Odisha is planning to give a massive facelift to eco-tourism projects so that the State becomes the National hub.

At present, eco-tourism projects are operational in 36 places in the State with better facilities for tourists.

"We have also decided to make Chilika Lake encroachment-free and already 151 sq KM area out of the total 188 sq KM that was encroached upon has been cleared," Routray added.