Aug 2, 2016
DEHRADUN: The state forest department has formed a committee headed by chief conservator of forests Dhananjai Mohan to hear the grievances and opinion of the local people of some 22 villages who will get affected on inclusion of three ranges of Terai East of Uttarakhand as buffer zone of Pilibhit Tiger Reserve of Uttar Pardesh.
It is the first matter in the state where the reserve forest of the state is going to become buffer zone of a tiger reserve of some other state. National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) has already given its approval for the inclusion of these three ranges as buffer zone of reserve.
DVS Khati, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) said, “We are quite ecstatic about our three ranges forming the buffer zone of Pilibhit TR. The tiger which has nothing to do with state boundaries will be able to move smoothly in the large contiguous forest, from Pilibhit to Terai East, with sound protection measures in place.”
Parag Dhakate, divisional forest official of Terai East said, “A committee headed by CCF Dhanajai Mohan has been formed to have consultation with the local people of some 22 villages, spread across 223 sq km over three ranges ofKhatima, Kilpura and Surai in Terai East.”
Mohan told TOI that it is after holding consultation with the villagers, the precise areas to be included in the buffer zone will be decided. He referred to the case of Rajaji Tiger Reserve, where some areas, which had large dependence of local people or solitary portions were left out from the peripheries of the buffer zone.
He further added, “Ecologically it will be same forest but the buffer zone of Terai East will be administered by state forest department. For instance, Amangarh range of Uttar Pardesh is buffer zone of Corbett TR but it is managed by UP. This legal understanding over continuity of forests helps in better coordination for protection of wildlife and forests, and management purpose between two states.”
Surender Mehra, conservator of forest of Western Circle said the support of villagers is required in the management of buffer so they are acquainted with the various aspects of buffer zone. For example any wildlife offence will have stricter punishment than a forest reserve. But they will have better livelihood opportunities which will be introduced under various state and centre sponsored schemes meant for tiger reserve.
As posted in Timesofindia.indiatimes.com