Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday thanked Namibia after eight cheetahs were brought to the Kuno National Park in Madhya Pradesh. Remembering the continuous efforts to bring back cheetahs to the country, PM Modi said there was no political gain but the government worked for years to ensure that the cheetahs are back in India after over 70 years. “These cheetahs are our guests. Let them make Kuno their home,” PM Modi said.
PM Modi said it is unfortunate that cheetahs were declared extinct in the country in 1952 but for decades no meaningful effort was made to bring them back. “Today, as we celebrate Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, the country has started rehabilitating Cheetahs with new energy. Amrit is what brings the dead back to life. On the occasion of Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav, we have been able to bring back extinct cheetahs,” PM Modi said.
“This is one such project that nobody thinks is significant from a political point of view. But still, we made continuous efforts. We made an elaborate Cheetah Action Plan. Our scientists worked with the experts of Namibia. They went to South Africa, their experts came here. We scouted for the best place for these cheetahs in India and then the Kuno National Park was chosen,” PM Modi said.
The Congress on Friday said Project Cheetah was prepared and approved in 2008-09 under the UP government. As PM Modi released the cheetahs on Saturday, Congress MP Jairam Ramesh said PM hardly acknowledges continuity in governance. “Cheetah project going back to my visit to Capetown on 25.04.2010 is the latest example. The tamasha orchestrated by PM today is unwarranted and is yet another diversion from pressing national issues and #BharatJodoYatra. When tigers were first translocated to Panna and Sariska during 2009-11, there were many prophets of doom. They were proved wrong. Similar predictions are being made on the Cheetah project. The professionals involved are first-rate and I wish the project the very best!” he tweeted.
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