By Vijay Pinjarkar
Although Maharashtra has become the only state in India which has done something substantial for tiger conservation in last decade, the same reason has attracted poachers, leading to maximum number of poaching incidents in the past three years.
The state has declared seven new tiger sanctuaries and a conservation reserve in the last three years and brought 990 sq km area under sanctuaries. These new sanctuaries are located at very strategic locations for breeding and safe dispersal of tigers. No other states in India has declared so many sanctuaries to provide additional area to tigers.
The state government also relocated 17 villages from core areas of tiger-bearing protected areas (PAs) and provided 1,845 hectare core area for safe breeding of tigers. No other state in India has implemented village relocation programme for tigers so successfully.
""The best part of the programme is that the government ensured these 2,000 families live a happy life close to market places and are provided all civic amenities. The relocation package preferred by these families (cash compensation) had left no responsibility on the government to ensure all amenities,"" said Kishor Rithe, president of the Satpuda Foundation, on the occasion of World Tiger Day.
Along with above two crucial things in tiger conservation, the state has also recruited forest guards, foresters and range forest officers (RFOs). They have also filled up vacant posts and promoted the staff among all cadres. No other state has taken such drive to provide better protection to tigers and their prey.
Rithe said principal secretary (forests) Praveen Pardeshi ensured laid emphasis to record every poaching case so that the precautionary measures can be taken. More....