By Jeevan Kumar Durgam
HYDERABAD: Can you imagine tigers from Telangana’s forests roaming freely into the tiger reserve areas of Maharashtra and tigers from there are coming into our state’s forest areas without any trouble? It is possible, says Telangana State Forest Department officials.
Officials believe that if their plans materialise, tigers can be protected from the poachers and also from accidents like forest infernos. Once the new plans of Telangana State Forest Department take shape, the big cats from the two tiger reserve areas in the state can have a safer and quicker movement not only from within Telangana’s reserve areas and wildlife sanctuaries but also to that of neighbouring states like Maharashtra, Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh. In a bid to save the dwindling tiger population the state forest officials are mulling to initiate this project. The plan appears to be most relevant as the number of tigers left in Telangana is shocking. There are only 24 tigers in the state, according to the recent data available with the forest department. For the first time, the forest officials of Telangana are going to interconnect the tiger reserve areas and wildlife sanctuaries in the state by creating special tiger corridors to provide better habitation and more protection to the tigers.
There are two tiger reserve forests, one at Kawal and other at Amrabad in Telangana. The officials decided to initiate the project with Kawal Tiger Reserve Area in Adilabad district and want to connect it with Tadoba Tiger Reserve in Chandrapur district of Maharashtra. Similar plans were made for other reserve forests as well.
However, the officials felt that the Amrabad Tiger Reserve Area in Mahbubnagar and Nalgonda districts doesn’t require a special corridor. Because it is located very close to the Nagarjunasagar- Srisailam Tiger Reserve Area and is divided only by River Krishna. The river can act as a bridge for tiger movement when water levels are low, said PK Sharma, chief conservator (Development) of Telangana forest department.
Under this unique plan, the forest department officials will identify the forest areas in the tiger reserve and wildlife sanctuaries and protect it with fence or other forms of boundaries. The entry of civilians will be restricted in the selected zones and it will be developed as a dense forest to create a natural habitat for the tigers.
Tigers are sensitive animals and when it comes to their habitations and they quickly move to safer places whenever they feel disturbed. But if the tiger reserve areas are bordered with the non-forest areas, they find it difficult to move out of it and sometimes face life risks by mistakenly straying into villages. This initiative has been taken in the recent meet by the forest officials and it is still in a planning stage.