Special status to villagers under buffer zone of tiger reserve

Here is some good news for villages falling under the buffer zones of tiger project of Tadoba reserves in Chandrapur district of eastern Maharashtra.

india Updated: Aug 02, 2011 18:55 IST
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Pradip Kumar Maitra
Hindustan Times

Here is some good news for villages falling under the buffer zones of tiger project of Tadoba reserves in Chandrapur district of eastern Maharashtra. The Maharashtra minister for environment Sanjay Deotale has said that such villages will be accorded a special status.

The 1,150 sq kms Tadoba buffer area would include about 80 villages in Chandrapur, Warora, Mul, Bhadrawati, Sindewahi and Chimur tahsils. A notification was issued in this regard a couple of months ago.

According to the Wildlife Institute of India, every critical tiger habitat should have a 1000-3000 sq kms of buffer zone for effective forest conservation and wildlife protection.

Speaking at a function in Chandrapur – which houses the famous Tadoba tiger reserve and where villagers are up in arms against inclusion of buffer zone in their nearby forest areas -- Deotale assured the villagers that they would get benefits of various state government schemes to achieve development of their area.

Tadoba tiger reserve is renowned for its rich natural habitat and is one of the oldest national parks of the country. The reserve is also credited of being one of the best-managed wildlife projects in the country that led to an increase the tiger population from 42 to 69 as per the latest tiger census. It was said that as many as 28 tiger cubs were born in Tadoba-Andheri tiger reserve in 2010 alone.

The minister said that the government has chalked out various schemes and asked villagers to draw maximum benefit for their progress as well as that of the village.

Special benefits for the villagers come under buffer zone include: special thrust on alternative employment to unemployed youths, vocational training for students at free of cost and one-third of the revenue that generates from tourists for entry in the park, would be spent for the development of those villages.

Deotale appealed to them to actively contribute in protection and conservation of flora and fauna for maintaining environmental balance.

Talking to Hindustan Times, the chief conservator of forests and field director of Tadoba, VK Sinha informed that the government was also making all efforts to provide villagers alternatives for fuel, bamboo, small timber etc in order to reduce pressure on the forests.

He claimed that the villagers of affected villages are extending all necessary support to the wildlife wing for the conservation and protection of wildlife in the reserves.

Spread over 625.40 sq kms, Tadoba-Andhari is one of the oldest national parks in the country that was upgraded as tiger reserve in 1995. With some of the best of forest tracks endowed with rich biodiversity Tadoba is considered an important wildlife habitat of the country with a growing big cat population.

Apart from an approximately 69 tigers, it is home to rare Indian wildlife animals like leopard (28), wild dog (1758), wild boar (195), sloth bear (165), bison (1052), deer (2039) and others. Moreover, Tadoba is also an ornithologist's paradise with a varied diversity of aquatic birdlife and raptors.

First Published: Aug 02, 2011 18:43 IST