Chasing cheetahs: A conservation effort or misplaced priority?

Cheetah, Kuno, India
Compared to other big cats, cheetahs are smaller in size. But it is the fastest land animal on the planet and has never had any conflict with humans

What surprised many environmentalists and observers in Budget 2020 was the massive 17% boost in allocation for the environment sector, to ₹3,100 crore from ₹2,658 crore in 2019-20. This, when many were expecting a cut in the wake of the economic slowdown.

To add to this, the government even hiked the budget for National Clean Air Programme (NCAP) by almost 10-times to ₹4,400 crore from ₹460 crore and that of 'Project Elephant' to ₹35 crore from ₹30 crore.

However, the funding for 'Project Tiger' was brought down to ₹300 crore from ₹350 crore. Many point out that the devil is in the details.

The National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), a statutory body under the environment ministry that is responsible for the conservation of wild 'big cats', such as tigers, lions and leopards, got a mere ₹50 lakh hike, from the previous ₹10 crore.

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