New Delhi, Aug 25 : Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said this is 'New India', where ''we have accomplished the goals in the quickest time possible and succeeded in doubling the tigers' population to 2,967 in 2019 itself.
In his 'Mann Ki Baat' programme broadcast, Mr Modi said, ''Last month I had the privilege of releasing the tiger census in the country. The tiger population in India is 2967, two thousand nine hundred sixty seven.''
He said a few years ago, the figure of tigers stood at half of what we have at present and then the Tiger summit took place in 2010 at St. Petersburg, Russia. At this summit, a resolution was taken expressing concern about the dwindling tiger population in the world.
It was resolved to double the number of tigers worldwide by 2022, he said, adding ''We doubled our tiger numbers in 2019 itself. Not only the tiger population in India was doubled, but the number of protected areas and community reserves has also increased.''
''At the time I was releasing the data on tigers, I also remembered the Asiatic lion of the Gir in Gujarat. I had the charge of the Chief Minister of Gujarat at a period of time when the habitat of lions in the forests of Gir was shrinking,'' Mr Modi added.
He said this number was decreasing and several innovative steps, one after the other in the Gir were taken. In 2007, it was decided to deploy female guards. There were improvements in the infrastructure to increase tourism.
Mr Modi said, ''When ever we talk about nature and wildlife, we only talk about conservation. But, we now have to move beyond conservation and think about compassion. Our scriptures have provided great guidance with respect to this subject. Our scriptures have said centuries ago.''
That is, if there are no forests, tigers are forced to venture into the human habitat and are killed, and if there are no tigers in the forest, then man cuts the forest and destroys it, so in fact the tiger protects the forest and not that the forest protects the tiger - our forefathers explained this great truth in a befitting manner.
PM Modi said, ''Therefore, we need to not only conserve our forests, flora and fauna, but also create an environment wherein they can flourish properly.''