Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Rajasthan State Government to Establish Rescue Center at Ranthambore National Park

Tiger in Ranthambore National Park

It has been recently announced that the Forest and Environment Department of Rajasthan is planning to establish a rescue center in Ranthambore National Park. The purpose of setting up this facility is to help prevent any man-wildlife conflict resulting from tigers and other wild animals straying out of the national park. The most recent conflict occurred last Tuesday when villagers Hanuman Prajapat and Badri Lal were injured by a tiger in the Mai Kalan Village in Ranthambore's Khandar Range. In response, Rajasthan forest minister Beena Kak declared on Thursday that a compensation of 20,000 rupees each will be given to the two victims. She further added that the department will have to pay the expenses acquired on the medical care for the victims. In addition to compensation, Minister Kak also stated that the park boundary will be more modified. That is, the wall around the park is in the process of being raised up further from its initial height at around six feet. Furthermore, the top of the wall will be fixed with iron angles with barbed wire to make it more difficult for tigers to move out of the park. In addition to that, the gaps in the wall will be fixed. It is also said that the government is working on a project to develop buffer zones in the outskirts of Ranthambore in sight of the national park's growing tiger population. The project, which anticipates an expenditure of 175 crore rupees, has been submitted to the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and the Planning Commission for approval. Meanwhile, the forest department has also worked out a plan to create natural corridors joining Ranthambore with the neighboring Kaila Devi Sanctuary in Bharatpur district. As part of the plan, 23 villages in Kaila Devi will be shifted outside the forest area so that it would be protected to form prey base for tigers.

I'm very happy and proud to see what government of Rajasthan is doing, in order to help both the people and wildlife in the state. Apart from providing compensation to any villagers, the government has also taken the initiative of establishing a rescue center to prevent any further conflicts between the villagers and the wildlife. Furthermore, the project also includes a modification of Ranthambore National Park's boundary such as increasing the height of the wall and fixing barbed wire on top of it along with repairing gaps to prevent any animals from straying outside. In addition to that, the government also plans to create buffer zones along the edges of the national park for the increasing tiger population while the forest department has devised a plan to develop natural corridors connecting Ranthambore to Kaila Devi. In my opinion, this series of planning and development of helping both the people and the wildlife should be taken as an inspiration for governments and forest departments in other parts of India and around the world in places like Africa. The reason is because people living alongside wildlife are known to have an uneasy coexistence, where people are either seriously injured or even killed by animals they come into encounters with. When this happens, usually the response is either to have an animal responsible for the assault either relocated or killed depending on how serious the situation. This is why it is extremely crucial to conduct steps similar to what the government of Rajasthan has done in order to help both people and wildlife coexist with one another peacefully.

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