As part of an effort to ascertain the exact number of animals in the Aravalli Hills, a joint campaign by the forest and wildlife department will begin in Faridabad on Thursday. “The census will present the correct picture of the situation in the hills,” said Del Chand Sagar, officer, wildlife department, Haryana government.
The hill area in Faridabad has been divided into three beats for the purpose — one in Bhadkal and the rest in Manger, which fall on the Faridabad-Gurgaon road.
“We will begin by laying a transit line in the Aravalli forests on May 10,” an official said. “The transit line will cover up to an area of 20km,” the officials said, adding, “Once the process is complete, the counting of animals will start.”
The counting process is not restricted to Faridabad alone but will simultaneously take place in Mewat, Rewari and Mehandergarh districts of Haryana, the officials said.
“Over 200 experts from several departments such as forest have been assigned with the task in these districts,” added the official.
Rich in minerals, the Aravalli Hills have witnessed years of illegal mining, leading to fast depletion of resources in Haryana and Rajasthan. This process has adversely affected the habitat of animals such as leopards in the area.
In the last two years, there have been instances when leopards have strayed into human habitats in Faridabad and faced public fury.
In one such case, an irate mob killed a leopard in the Kheri Gujran village. Wildlife experts believe that disturbance in the natural habitat, no check on illegal mining in forest areas and encroachments are the main causes behind such invasions.