Wildlife Board meeting held
By Our Staff Reporter
Dehradun, 4 Aug: While presiding over the 19th meeting of the Uttarakhand State Wildlife Board at the Secretariat here, today, Chief Minister Pushkar Singh Dhami directed the foresters to work in a focused manner to curb the problem of monkeys and wild boars. He said that the target of sterilisation of monkeys should be doubled and other practical solutions also worked out to effectively deal with the monkey and wild boar problem.
The Chief Minister directed the foresters also to ensure payment of ex-gratia relief to the victims of human-wild animal conflict within 15 days and further asked them to present a proposal to raise the relief amount in this regard from Rs 4 lakhs to Rs 6 lakhs before the Cabinet at the earliest.
Dhami stressed on focussed priority towards taking necessary steps to reduce human-wildlife conflict. He said that solar lights should be installed in the villages near the forests, public awareness also raised and, in such areas, adequate numbers of forest officials deputed. He directed them to identify areas where the conflicts were more common so that the people could be warned in advance.
The CM stated that work should also be done on bio-fencing to protect the crops from wild animals. He emphasised that Eco-tourism, wild life tourism and bio fencing should be made a regular agenda of the board meeting.
The Chief Minister also inaugurated the Uttarakhand Wildlife Helpline on the occasion.
Congratulating Uttarakhand on being at the third position in the number of tigers, the CM said that the local people deserve special congratulations in this regard. Considering the smaller area of the state, it is a significant achievement. It should be widely publicised from the point of view of wild life tourism.
Dhami said that the long pending Tiger Protection Force should also be constituted soon. The youth should be connected to this. People of rural areas adjacent to forests have an important role in wildlife conservation. In such a situation, they should be made more aware and, from time to time, training on Wildlife Rescue and Rapid Action Force should also be imparted to the people.
The Chief Minister added that work will have to be done in a time bound manner to develop Chaurasi Kutiya near Rishikesh as an international tourist destination. In case of delay, accountability needed to be fixed. The implementation of decisions was possible only when the accountability of the officers concerned is fixed. The Chief Minister noted that, on the instructions of the Prime Minister, amendments have been brought to the Wildlife (Protection) Act. Many of its provisions are in the interest of Uttarakhand. This information must be disseminated to the officials of the departments concerned.
It was stated at the meeting that a Human Wildlife Conflict Prevention Cell and the Uttarakhand Human Wildlife Conflict Prevention Fund have been established. An Uttarakhand Wildlife Helpline has also been set up under the cell. A revised proposal for Human Wildlife Conflict Relief Distribution Fund Rules has been prepared. In this, apart from increasing the ex-gratia amount given earlier, a provision has also been made for ex-gratia amount on the death of a human being from being stung by wasps and bees, too.
State Forest Minister Subodh Uniyal, MLAs Renu Bisht, Ram Singh Kaida, Chief Secretary Dr SS Sandhu, DGP Ashok Kumar, Principal Secretary RK Sudhanshu, Chief Forest Conservator Anoop Malik and other members of the State Wildlife Board including Samir Sinha and Nishant Verma were among those present.