Indian Oil Corporation Limited will contribute Rs 50.22 crore over five years for the transcontinental relocation of Cheetahs from Namibia and South Africa to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh, according to an official statement issued here on Tuesday.
Under the Cheetah Reintroduction Project, a source population of 15-20 Cheetahs will be flown in from Namibia and South Africa and introduced at the Kuno National Park.
Indian Oil will contribute Rs 50.22 crore over five years for the project components: Cheetah Introduction, Habitat Management and Protection, Eco Development, Staff Training, and Veterinary Healthcare, the statement read.
Earlier, IndianOil on 2nd August 2022, signed an MoU with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for the transcontinental relocation of Cheetah in its historical range in India. The MoU was signed by Mr S M Vaidya, Chairman, IndianOil, and Dr. S P Yadav, Addl. Director General (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary (NTCA).
Speaking on the MoU, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, said, “Led by Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India is now leading the way as far as sustainable progress, and ecological conservation is concerned. Indian PSUs have been doing well to strengthen Government’s sustainable endeavors, and the Cheetah Introduction project is one such example. This MoU between Indian Oil and NTCA should serve as a template for a future project on restoring Biodiversity. Cheetahs are human-friendly and special, and their return to India is an important environmental leap.”
Recently, Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Labour & Employment, said, “While the tiger has served as a flagship and umbrella species of forest systems, the cheetah will fill the void for open forests, savannah and grasslands”.
Vaidya, Chairman, Indian oil, said, “The MoU between Indian Oil and NTCA demonstrates the nation’s resolve to nurture a greener, brighter and vibrant new India. I am sure that NTCA will steward this project on a mission mode, and let me assure everyone of IndianOil’s steadfast commitment to supporting this endeavor at all times. I must add that this Cheetah Introduction Project is in sync with our priority of conserving India’s natural habitat and heritage. Our mascot, the now famous IndianOil Rhino, stands firm as a testimony to that commitment”.
Meanwhile, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the “Reintroduction of the Cheetah” project at the Kuno National Park in the Sheopur district of Madhya Pradesh on September 17. PM Modi will also release cheetahs being brought from Africa into the state’s forests. The big cat species will be reintroduced in India after 70 years since being declared extinct in 1952.
Under the ambitious project of the Indian government – Project Cheetah – the reintroduction of wild species, particularly cheetah is being undertaken as per the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) guidelines.
Project Cheetah is an ambitious project undertaken by the government which aims to re-establish the species in its historical range in the country. India has a long history of wildlife conservation. One of the most successful wildlife conservation ventures ‘Project Tiger’ which was initiated way back in 1972, has not only contributed to the conservation of tigers but also to the entire ecosystem.