- Abhijit Nath, NET Correspondent, Tripura
Agartala, August 04, 2022 : IndianOil has inked a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) for transcontinental relocation of ‘Cheetah’ within its historical range, during an event held on Tuesday at Paryavaran Bhawan, New Delhi.
The MoU was signed by S M Vaidya, Chairman of the IndianOil and Dr S P Yadav, Additional Director General (Project Tiger) and Member Secretary (NTCA) in the presence of Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Labour & Employment, Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, and Rameswar Teli, MoS, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour & Employment.
This is in continuation with the MoU signed on July 20, 2022 between government of India and government of the Republic of Namibia on wildlife conservation and sustainable biodiversity utilization, for establishing the cheetah into the historical range in India. IndianOil will be contributing Rs 50.22 crore over 5 years for the project components viz. Cheetah Introduction, its Habitat Management & Protection, Eco Development, Staff Training and Veterinary Healthcare.
Under this project, a source population of 15-20 Cheetahs will be flown in from Namibia and South Africa and will be introduced at Kuno National Park, Madhya Pradesh. It is a national project involving National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), government of India and the government of Madhya Pradesh.
IndianOil is the first corporate which has come forward to support the “Project Cheetah” under CSR, as the project has not only national importance but also essential for balancing the ecosystem. Cheetah has a very special significance for the national conservation ethic and ethos.
Understanding the same, IndianOil is aiding the cause of bringing the Cheetah back to India, which would have equally important conservation ramifications. Cheetah restoration will be part of a prototype for restoration of original cheetah habitats, helping to stem the degradation and rapid loss of biodiversity.
This project is in sync with IndianOil’s strong environmental conscience and aligns with the company’s focus on conserving India’s natural habitat and heritage. It may be noted that IndianOil adopted Indian Single Horned Rhino as its mascot last year and, since then, the company has been at the forefront of India’s Rhino conservation endeavours.
Speaking on the occasion, Hardeep Singh Puri, Union Minister for Petroleum & Natural Gas and Housing & Urban Affairs, said, “Led by Prime Minister 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 endeavours, and the Cheetah Introduction project is one such example. This MoU between IndianOil 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.”
Bhupender Yadav, Union Minister for Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Labour & Employment, said, “This unique endeavour to introduce Cheetah back to India has been inspired by the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. We have been pursuing a development agenda that is centred around a focus on nature and biodiversity. The Cheetah Introduction project is in sync with that focus and is vital from environmental, cultural, and spiritual points of view”.
Ashwini Kumar Choubey, MoS, Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change, Consumer Affairs, Food & Public Distribution, said, “Appreciate IndianOil’s environmental focus, and this pathbreaking endeavour should act as an inspiration for other corporates. I appeal to all to contribute to protecting India’s biodiversity and wildlife.”
Rameswar Teli, MoS, Petroleum & Natural Gas and Labour & Employment, said, “I congratulate IndianOil and NTCA for collaborating to strengthen the Government of India’s endeavours for restoring India’s rich history and heritage. This milestone is also a major recognition of the Government of India’s concerted forays to strengthen bilateral ties at the International level. We are thankful for the African nations who have come forward as India’s green partners”.
S M Vaidya, Chairman, IndianOil, said, “The MoU between IndianOil 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 endeavour 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.”
NTCA is the nodal agency authorized by MoEF&CC for funding, supervision and hand holding. IndianOil will contribute its CSR funds to NTCA, which shall co-ordinate with the State Govt. of Madhya Pradesh and other agencies involved in the project.