Centre seeks report on setting up task force to guard Aravallis
The task force is supposed to step up patrolling in the Aravallis and curb poachinggurgaon Updated: Jan 12, 2018 21:52 IST
Alarmed over the alleged spike in incidents of poaching in the Aravallis, the Union ministry for environment, forest and climate change has asked the state government to send a status report on the formation of a special task force to step up vigil on the forest and curb such incidents.
Claiming a sharp upward spiral in poaching in the Aravallis, a team of environment activists met Union environment minister Harsh Vardhan on December 29 and urged him to act against poachers. In a subsequent meeting with state forest minister Rao Narbir Singh, they urged that the process of setting up the Aravalli Task Force be hastened.
Singh said he wasn’t aware of poaching cases in the Aravallis, but will set the process in motion for forming the task force.
In a letter, dated January 4, and sent to the additional principal chief conservator of forest (central) and the Principal chief conservator of forest, Haryana, Union ministry sought a status report on the task force. The letter was received by the forest department on Thursday.
The letter states, “I am directed to forward herewith a copy of e-mail dated 02.01.2018 from Vaishali Rana Chandra, Gurgaon, Haryana, sent to the Director General of Forest and Special Secretary MoEF&CC ….and to request regional office Chandigarh and State Government of Haryana to examine the matter and to furnish a status report to this ministry at the earliest (sic).”
The state wildlife department said that they are in the process of forming the task force which will conduct regular patrolling in the Aravallis, especially areas where there has been a surge in wildlife population.
“We will hold a meeting with the complainant (petitioner) regarding the poaching issue in the Aravallis. We are also in the process of forming a ground unit which will comprise people from nearby villages,” Vinod Kumar, conservator of wildlife, South Haryana, said.
On December 8, a peacock was spotted with its feet caught in a metal trap near Tata Raisina Residency in the Aravallis.
On December 9, a wildlife team visited the area and found two metal traps to capture animals. On December 28, similar metal traps were found in near Tata Raisina Residency, Kumar said.
He said a meeting on the task force will be held on Saturday and a status report will be submitted in a week.