Kumble bats for Bandipur Tiger Reserve forest guards

Kumble, who is the public face of the Karnataka forest department, has recently written to Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to expedite staff welfare schemes like providing group accommodation at the nearest city to the reserves they are deployed.

The schemes have been proposed by the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) two years ago aiming to provide residential amenities to facilitate basic education to children of frontline field staff posted in tiger reserves across the country.

The idea is hinged on the perception that nearness to the family would stimulate performance among the forest personnel who has a tough and inherently risky job and can fell prey to monetary traps laid by poachers, according to an NTCA official.

The Karnataka Government has already submitted a proposal to the NTCA for providing two blocks of family group quarters at a cost of Rs 1.60 crore at Mysore.Kumble decided to write to the minister after his visit to Bandipur Tiger Reserve recently where he interacted with the local forest officers and frontline staff.

"I also feel that the children of the front-line staff in particular are deprived of their education as they have to travel to far off places to pursue their education and therefore it is necessary to provide group accommodation to the family of the front-line staff at Mysore city," he said.

While appreciating the scheme that would go a long way in wildlife conservation, the legendary cricketer also expressed his desire to meet the Minister to discuss issues relating to the subject.

State Chief Wildlife Warden B K Singh said apart from Mysore, the families of the forest guards can also be settled in the nearby H D Kote and Gudelpet taluks of Mysore district.
He said as a vice-chairman of State Wildlife Board, Kumble's involvement would help in policy planning for the protection of tiger reserves and national parks in the state

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