Heavy vehicles, earth movers banned in forests

Wildlife activists welcome the decision

Heavy vehicles, earth movers banned in forests

Following the ban ordered in August, there is no movement of bulldozers and heavy earth movers inside the State’s national parks, sanctuaries and tiger reserves. “This measure has been taken up to ensure a peaceful atmosphere for the wildlife. It applies not only to the national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, but to all the protected areas in the State,” he said.

The decision is the outcome of the efforts of Wildlife First, which during the first week of August had submitted a memorandum stating that these works are posing a serious threat. “ There are instances of lorries carrying huge boulders, stones, huge machineries like earth excavators. Instead it can be done by manpower too. We are allowing necessary things like fire lines and water lines,” he said. The PCCF said that he is personally scrutinising the management plans and deleting all unnecessary civil works. “There are several works going on in these protected areas. At least each has about 10 to 15 works, which are being relooked now,” he said.

Serious damage

Wildlife First, welcoming the action initiated by the PCCF, hoped that it will stop the increasing incidents of serious damage being caused to Wildlife Reserves under the pretext of habitat improvement, water harvesting and such other ill-planned and unscientific management prescriptions. Wildlife First, which had submitted a memorandum along with a detailed photo documentation of the damage being caused to pristine areas of Nagarahole, Bandipur and other important Reserves.

“This important intervention will not only help prevent damage to wildlife habitat but will also ensure that the funds available due to stoppage of unnecessary civil works will now be invested wisely on strengthening anti-poaching and fire protection measures,” said Praveen Bhargav, Managing Trustee, Wildlife First and Member, National Board of Wildlife.   

“We urge the Chief Wildlife Warden to also issue a Permanent Standing Order by invoking powers vested in him under Section 29 and 35(6) of the Wildlife (Protection) Act, 1972 to ensure a long-term resolution of this problem,” he added.

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