BRT tiger project gets approval for Rs 1.98 cr

Forest dept will constitute a fund for conservation of wildlife

Out of the total project cost, the Centre would release Rs 1.48 crore and the state government has to chip in with a grant for the remaining amount. Presently, the Union government has released  ` 1.18 crore, while the state has begun implementation of conservation the programme by releasing  `30 lakh, sources said.

The funds would be utilised as per the rules and regulations of Tiger Conservation Authority, which entails for increasing the forest staff strength to protect the green cover, installing solar fence and digging of elephant trenches.

S Manikandan, deputy conservator of forests, told Deccan Herald that 50 per cent of the funds would go towards salaries of the staff who would be employed for the purpose of protection of forest borders and wildlife. The man-animal conflict in BRT region was on the rise.

Farmers living in the fringes of the forest are facing daily problems owing to elephant and other wild animals razing crops in their fields.

The funds could also be utilised to pay compensation to farmers who suffer loss due to wildlife creating havoc in their farms.

The Central rules lay down a target of fencing the forest area for at least 20 km in the first phase and dig a eight kilometre stretch elephant trench, he revealed.

Besides, cattle and other domestically-reared animals in the fringes of forest would be vaccinated to prevent them from carrying diseases into the forest.  At least 10,000 domestic animals will be vaccinated, he said.

Conservation fund
The forest department would also start a forest conservation fund, which would be utilised on a permanent basis for the conservation programme.

The revenue from BRT hills, which so far was deposited to the state coffers would go the conservation fund. B R Hills has an annual income of  ` 30 lakh by way of tourist inflow and forest produce.

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