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Gurgaon: Forest department moots 500 home guards for Aravalli forest

Forest officials said the deployment of more home guards will ensure better surveillance of the Aravalli forest

gurgaon Updated: Apr 29, 2017 23:34 IST
Ipsita Pati
Ipsita Pati
Hindustan Times
Aravali forest,home guards,monitor forest area
The tree cover in the Aravalli forest has to shrunk to an alarming 3.4% this year.(File Photo)

With a view to providing better monitoring of the forest area, a proposal has been sent by the forest department to the DG, Home Guard, for deployment of 500 home guards in 60 checkposts in the Aravalli areas.

The move comes at a time the region has seen a spurt in illegal mining, indiscriminate tree felling and rising incidents of man-animal conflict. The proposal for more home guards for better surveillance of the Aravalli forest is especially significant as the tree cover in the region has shrunk to an alarming 3.4% according to data released by the forest department. The need of the hour, said forest officials, is to protect the wildlife and ensure better surveillance of the area.

“In the six districts of south Haryana — Gurgaon, Mewat,Faridabad, Rewadi and Mahendergarh — here are 60 check posts surrounding the Aravalli forest. In Gurgaon, there are 12 check posts, with each needing three home guards. Each home guard has to pull an 8-hour shift,” MD Sinha, conservator of forest, south Haryana, said.

The forest department is expected to get a reply to the proposal from the DG, Home Guard by Monday. The primary objective behind the proposal is to ensure better monitoring of the protected forest area and preserve the green cover, the forest officials said.

Read I Gurgaon: Filling of water pits in parched Aravalli forest underway

The officials said the Aravalli region needs better surveillance in the light of rising tree felling incidents and encroachment of forest land.

The home guards, said officials, would report the sighting of animals from time to time and the same would help in mapping the density of wildlife in the Aravalli forest. The home guards will also be trained in spreading awareness in nearby villages on the preservation of wildlife.

There are around 15 villages along the Bandhwari-Dumduma stretch and another 35 around the Mahendergarh range, which is a wildlife hotspot according to official data.

The Aravalli region extends to Rajasthan as well where illegal mining activities have been on the rise of late. The same has resulted in the shrinkage of the natural habitat and more incidents of animals straying into civilian areas, said Shyam Sunder Kaushik, divisional forest officer, wildlife, Gurgaon.

The animals native to the Aravallis include leopard, jungle cat, jackal, porcupine, fox, mongoose, small Indian civet, pangolin, hyena, nilgai, chital, sambar, barking deer, goral, wild boar, langur, rhesus, hare, chinkara and peafowl among others.

First Published: Apr 29, 2017 23:34 IST