Sariska tiger death: Former conservator demands forest minister’s resignation
The former principal chief conservator of forest said human disturbance is increasing by the day.jaipur Updated: Mar 22, 2018 22:33 IST
Former principal chief conservator of forest RN Mehrotra has demanded the resignation of Rajasthan forest minister Gajendra Singh and said that the minister should own responsibility for the death of the tiger, ST-11, in Sariska Tiger Reserve on Monday.
Mehrotra also alleged that the minister was aware of the conditions in the tiger reserve and he knew that this was an incident waiting to happen. He said that STR has been allotted good captains but they do not have a team of good soldiers hence they are unable to stop such incidents.
“About 35-40% posts are vacant and those who are working in the STR are not properly skilled. Due to these circumstances, the crisis of 2005 when tigers wiped off in STR is waiting to repeat. STR is passing through a bad phase due to the short shrift that the government is giving STR,” he said.
Due to the shortage of staff, no search operation can be launched to check use of snares by farmers, the former forest official said. Proper night patrolling is not on in the reserve, he added.
Mehrotra said human disturbance is increasing by the day. “Commercial activities are increasing from Kushalgarh to STR and critical tiger habitat. Tehsildar, sub divisional magistrate and district collector are not taking cognisance of conversion of land through corrupt practices,” he said.
The forest officer said that the most important unit of monitoring is beat guards. In STR, there are 102 beats where only 110 guards are working when the number of sanctioned posts is 139.
The empowerment committee, headed by VP Singh, had recommended more than 20 points for the welfare and effective monitoring in STR. The panel recommended that there should be three beat guards in one beat.
STR administration has written to the state government to fulfil these recommendations, but nothing has been done, said an official of the reserve without wishing to be named.
Mehrotra said that when the forest minister camped in STR for 20 days in January this year, forest officials told him about every problem of the reserve.
Meanwhile, the forest minister has accepted that the death of ST-11 is a case of poaching. He held a meeting of higher officials of his department and in Jaipur gave directions. He also decided to constitute a high-power committee to inquire the circumstances that led to the death of two tigers, one in Ranthambore and the other is in STR.