State to have 2 new reserve forests on 90 hectares

Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan announced on Thursday that the state government had decided to notify two new reserve forests on land measuring nearly 90 hectares. The famous Tamhini ghat in Pune district (49 hectares) and Ishapur (40 hectares) in Yavatmal district have been selected as the sites for the new reserve forests.

Chavan, who was in Pune to chair a meeting of the Maharashtra State Wildlife Committee, said the Ishapur reserve forest would be a bird sanctuary, while the one being developed at the Tamhini ghat would be more of a general forest.

"The state government also has plans to develop a few wetlands in the state on the lines of Ramsar convention. In view of that, the wetlands of Jayaikwadi, Nandur and Lonar crater lake would be developed. We will be sending a proposal in this regard to the Central government soon," Chavan said while talking to the media.

In order to stop poaching of wild animals, Chavan said, the state government would be strengthening the wildlife protection force.

CM firm on drip irrigation for sugarcane

Prithviraj Chavan reiterated his support for drip irrigation for sugarcane, stating that it would help conserve around 40 per cent of water. Asked about the controversy over the Pune Municipal Corporation's attempt to get the proposed Metro rail terminus and the Shiv Shrusti project, a museum dedicated to Chhatrapati Shivaji, at one and the same campus in Kothrud, Chavan said the state government would work out an amicable solution to the problem.

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