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Thursday, May 31, 2012

Criminal Investigation Department to probe tiger poaching cases: Patangrao Kadam

TNN | May 31, 2012, 01.03AM IST CHANDRAPUR: State forest minister Patangrao Kadam ordered of CID inquiry into two recent incidents of tiger poaching, while declaring adoption of uniform tiger protection strategy for tiger bearing areas in Chandrapur. He visited tiger poaching site near Gondmohadi and held joint meeting of forest, police and MSEDCL officials in Tadoba-Andhari Tiger Reserve on Wednesday. Several crucial decisions to strengthen protection and conservation of tigers in protected and non-protected forest areas in Chandrapur were taken in the meeting. "I have ordered a CID inquiry into Gondmohadi and Borda tiger poaching and asked the agency to give its status report in the next three months. Gondmohadi tiger poaching involves interstate poaching gangs. We have got some clues in Boarda tiger poaching case and investigators are working on it," said Kadam, interacting with reporters at the district collector's office. Forest minister informed that there have been six deaths of tiger and one other tiger was seriously injured in Chandrapur since January. "Off these one tiger in Jharan forest, two in Gondmohadi and one in Borda forest were poached," he said. Kadam said that the forest ministry has released secret funds to the department to raise intelligence network, on the lines of police department. "In light of poaching by electrocution, we have decided that the entire 350km electricity supply lines passing through forests in Chandrapur will be converted into underground cabling at the cost of Rs 72 crore. Similarly, all new supply lines passing through forest areas henceforth will also of underground type," he said. The minister also declared adopting uniform tiger protection strategy for tiger bearing areas in Chandrapur. "The existing 34 forest beats in TATR will be restructured to form 85 beats to enhance protection. We are providing 10 jeeps, 25 motorbikes and a large number of bicycles to the staffers for patrolling. Van patils, on the lines of police patils, will be recruited in villages falling in jungle areas. The number of water holes in buffer area will be increased, while each waterhole is being monitored by two staffers during day and night," he said. Kadam also said that additional fire arms are being provided to forest staffers in core and buffer area of TATR. He said that funds have been provided to the forest department for procurement of more metal detectors and GPS units to strengthen tiger protection. "We have also decided to form Special Tiger Protection Force and 112 posts for this force has been approved. Similarly, department has lifted the ban on new recruitment and approved 1,250 new posts for the department," he said. He claimed that management of TATR is being restructured for better protection and conservation of wildlife. "Core and buffer area of Tadoba would be now under separate DCFs headed by CCF and field director of TATR. As 1,100 sq km of buffer area, comprising maximum part of Chandrapur forest division, has been fully handed over to TATR, a new forest division clubbing remaining forest area of Chandrapur division and some part of Bramhapuri division will be formed," he said. Government has also decided to raise the compensation against human death in wildlife attack from the existing Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh. He said that forest department has regularized 6,500 van majoors (forest labourers) in the state and they would be soon given uniforms. Replying to a query, he said that the red-alert related to threat from interstate poacher gangs will continue for some time. "PCCF (wildlife) would take regular review of the protection and decide over continuation of the alert," he said. On the high number of forest fires in TATR this year, he held that majority of fires in Tadoba were intentional human mischief and offences in this regard have been registered. Replying to a question on the rising number of resorts around TATR, Kadam said, "A committee for buffer management has been formed a year back. This committee would decide over go and no-go areas in buffer zone. Resort will be allowed in specified areas to ensure that wildlife have minimum disturbance," he said. Kadam was accompanied by MLA Jaikumar Bode, PCCF (wildlife) SWH Naqvi, PCCF (Head of Forest Force) AK Joshi, APCCF (wildlife) AK Saxena, APCCF Anmol Kumar, TATR CCF Virendra Tiwari, Chandrapur CCF BSK Reddy, district collector Vijay Waghmare and other officers. Thackeray visits poaching sites Maharashtra Navnirman Sena chief Raj Thackeray began his three-day tour to Chandrapur focused on tiger poaching and forest fires on Wednesday. He visited tiger poaching site near Gondmohadi in Palasgaon range in the afternoon accompanied by MLA Bala Nandgaonkar and a huge posse of supporters. Thackeray inspected the waterhole where the tiger was poached and took information about the incident from wildlife activists and forest officers at the spot. A crowd of Thackeray's supporters spoiled the pugmarks of a tiger on the sand around waterhole, sources said. Thackeray later entered TATR from Kolara gate in the afternoon. He spotted two tigers at Pandharpaoni. Thackeray also stopped at Jamni village and talked to villagers about their rehabilitation. Wildlife activist Bandu Dhotre apprised Thackeray about the rehabilitation. He also inspected the spot near Kolara gate where forest fire had taken place. Strong measures * Additional firearms to forest guards * Special Tiger Protection Force to be formed * Metal detectors, GPS devices to be procured * Entire 350km electricity supply lines passing through forests in Chandrapur to be converted into underground cabling * Existing 34 forest beats in TATR to be restructured to form 85 beats to enhance protection * Van patils, on the lines of police patils, to be recruited in villages near forests * Additional vehicles to be provided for patrolling * Recruitment freeze lifted, on 1,250 new posts soon * Compensation for human death in wildlife attack raised from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh

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