By D. Radhakrishnan
Patrolling and fire prevention measures to be intensified
Extremely dry weather conditions, threat posed by bush fires and pressure on water sources have forced the closure of the Mudumalai Tiger Reserve (MTR) near here. The Deputy Director,MTR T.Chandran said that the reserve will remain closed from April 10.
He added that the Chief Wildlife Warden has issued a directive to close it as a measure of precaution. Forest sources told The Hindu that the chances of bush fires breaking out have increased.
Stating that the MTR will remain closed till further orders, they said that since the drought has become a major source of concern no one will be permitted to enter the reserve.
Pointing out that carelessness on the part of tourists is a major contributory factor for bush fires,they said that patrolling and fire prevention measures will be intensified. The closure time will be utilized to carry out maintenance works. Boards have been erected at various places to create awareness about the consequences of jungle fires among the people passing through the reserve.
People including tribals residing in or near the reserve have been asked to be extremely careful, sources said.
Arrangements have been made to meet the water requirements of the wild animals through tankers.
They will ensure that the troughs in various parts of the Reserve forests have sufficient water . Meanwhile people in the tourism sector said that the situation will improve as soon as the season in this vacation destination will enter its busy phase.
They pointed out that normally the reserve forests attracts a large number of tourists during summer season.