National Tiger Conservation Society (NTCA) will take action against Uttarakhand, Uttar Pradesh and Rajasthan that were found to have delayed formation of Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) in their respective states. Jayanthi Natarajan, union minister of forest and environment expressed displeasure over the non-formation of force that intends to deploy additional staff for tiger conservation.
Dr. Rajesh Gopal, member secretary NTCA told Hindustan Times, “We will take action against states that delayed constituting STPF. It’s the responsibility of state forest department to form this force for tiger conservation.”
Apparently, Natarajan in a meeting with field directors in Delhi on Wednesday reviewed various works. While she closely monitored Project Tiger details, she also expressed displeasure over non-formation of STPF. She mentioned that Karnataka is the only state to have formed STPF but states likes Uttarakhand, UP and Rajasthan have delayed it.
Hindustan Times in its April 16 issue gave a detailed report on lackadaisical attitude of state forest department that has ignored formation of STPF since last two years in Uttarakhand. For this project, NTCA had already released first installment of Rs. 90 lakh. But, no results were recorded.
A total of 108 people are to be appointed under the project dedicated to tiger conservation. These people will be divided into 3 platoons. Additional Conservator of Forest (ACF) will head each platoon. Interestingly, 18 foresters and 90 forest guards are to be appointed. Giving special place to forest dwellers, government of India in its project has reserved 30% positions of forest guards for them. This means, 27 gujjars or forest dwellers will be appointed and forest guards will fill remaining 63 positions. The ministry will bear entire expenses of salary and other allowances of appointed force.
When contacted Ranjan Kumar Mishra, director Corbett Tiger Reserve (CTR) who was also present in the meeting with Natarajan, he shared, "We have already given advertisement for recruitment of forest staff. It’s in the final syages."