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Wednesday, January 30, 2013

MoEF team to assess impact of felling on corridors

By Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN | Jan 30, 2013, 06.03 AM IST Lanco and Wardha farmers fight in HC againDistrict Central Co-operative Bank fails to disburse full salary to W...Forest union angry as no. of workers to be regularized cutJharkhand awarded for bear population managementRichard D'Souza is principal chief conservator of forests, to remain ... NAGPUR: Two senior officials from the ministry of environment and forests (MoEF) are on a tour of working circles in the region to access the impact of 'coupe' (a unit of land) felling on wildlife habitats, corridors and local livelihoods, among other things. The team consists of chief conservator of forests (CCF) SK Bhandari, Bhopal, and conservator of forests (Bhopal) Pradeep Vasudeo. Local wildlife experts and NGOs working for wildlife conservation will accompany them. A report will be submitted to MoEF after the visits. The visits have been planned in workable coupes between January 29 and February 1. The team will separately visit select ranges in Amravati, East Melghat, Buldhana, Gadchiroli, Wardha, Nagpur, Bhandara, Chandrapur, Brahmapuri and Central Chanda divisions. A questionnaire has already been faxed to all the field staff regarding coupes to be inspected. The MoEF officials will inspect improvement working circles (IWCs) and selection-cum-improvement (SCI) working circles. The inspection is being conducted considering the proposals sent by the state forest department for approval of working plan prescriptions for 2012-13. The decision was taken by a core group in the MoEF under the chairmanship of director general of forests (DGF). The DGF has already directed the state government that no concentrated felling will be undertaken in forest area within 10km radius of protected areas (PAs). It also said there should be no felling that causes disturbance to wildlife and its habitat in corridors. Surprisingly, there is no mention about Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM), which has resorted to large-scale felling as per the approved plans even within 10km radius of PAs. FDCM had resorted to massive felling in the tiger corridors in Pitezari, Umarzari, Mansinghdeo, Chandrapur and other vital corridors. "Concentrated felling in mixed and miscellaneous forests may be examined along with some independent experts in wildlife and biodiversity conservation, especially with reference to maintaining wildlife corridors and habitats, local livelihoods etc," the core group observed. Official sources said, in Melghat, the team will be accompanied by wildlife and forest consultant RN Indurkar. In Gadchiroli, it will be accompanied by honorary district wildlife warden Mahendra Singh Chouhan while in Wardha and Nagpur divisions by manager of Wildlife Trust of India (WTI) Prafulla Bhamburkar. In Chandrapur, Bandu Dhotre of Eco-Pro and honorary district warden will be working with the team.

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