Uttarakhand forest minister to discuss setting up of wildlife crime control bureau in state with the Centre
The state government is in talks with the wildlife crime control bureau to set up an office of the bureau in Uttarakhand that will report on organised crimes against wild speciesdehradun Updated: Dec 04, 2017 21:31 IST
The state government is in talks with the wildlife crime control bureau to set up an office of the bureau in Uttarakhand that will report on organised crimes against wild species.
The wildlife crime control bureau is a “statutory multi-disciplinary” body established by the Centre to combat organised wildlife crime in the country.
The state forest minister, Harak Singh Rawat has been trying to seek approval from the Union ministry of environment, forest and climate change for the bureau office in Uttarakhand. “I will be proposing this bureau to Dr Harsh Vardhan, the union forest minister, so that we could have a special team to look into wildlife crime,” Rawat told Hindustan Times on Monday.
Setting up a wildlife crime control bureau office in the state means that there would be an independent set of officers, along with a structured team, to keep watch on wildlife criminals. The division, connected with the central bureau, will also help in cracking whip on the inter-state criminals.
The proposal of setting up an anti-poaching cell has been pending with the state government for last five years now. The main highlight of the proposal is to engage two wardens in Garhwal and Kumaon regions that would solely look into creating sources on the ground and making plans to diffuse the network of poachers and animal part smugglers.
Meanwhile, the crime graph continues to rise in the Himalayan state with five tiger skin seized in 2016. On October 27 this year, a man was arrested from Terai west forest division with two elephant tusks. Subsequently, a leopard carcass with missing head, skin and claws was found in Pithoragarh.
The current system has left the onus of checking forest crimes on divisional forest officers (DFOs), who are also engaged with other activities. There is a lone position of additional principal chief conservator of forest ( wildlife and intelligence), who works in coordination with the DFOs, but has limited resources and manpower.
Emphasising on the need of setting of an office of the wildlife crime control bureau in Uttarakhand, RK Mahajan, head of forest force said, “An additional force will ensure rigorous monitoring in our forest divisions that have healthy number of big cats.”
The National Tiger Conservation Authority had also been planning to approve such bureaux that work independently in “conflict states” such as Uttarakhand, Maharashtra and Assam.