The country’s first model eco-friendly anti-poaching camp established at Bandipur may be replicated with corporate funding and its salient features incorporated in other camps as well.
Aranyaka – as it was called – was established at Avarepura in Moleyur range and was a joint venture of Wildlife Conservation Trust, Mumbai and Tiger Conservation Foundation, Bandipur. It was designed and implemented by the Centre for Renewable Energy and Sustainable Technologies of the National Institute of Engineering and handed over to the authorities in November 2012.
One of its salient features was the use of eco-friendly materials like stabilised mud block at the site of construction using locally available material. The mud blocks were sun-cured and not baked.
A rain water harvesting unit was installed with a storage capacity of 9,000 litres and the cost of constructing the unit was pegged at Rs. 8.25 lakh.
The feedback from the staff stationed at Aranyaka is encouraging but the cost may be prohibitive to replicate across all 46 anti-poaching camps in Bandipur. There is definitely more thermal comfort and there is sufficient water during summer, which are reasons enough to replicate it. However, there are financial constraints and we are looking at means to raise funds,” said H.C. Kantharaj, director, Bandipur Tiger Reserve.
He told The Hindu that the Forest Department has approached various corporates in this connection and a presentation was arranged at Bangalore recently in which salient features of the model anti-poaching camp was explained to them.
The programme was conducted through the eco-tourism board of the Forest Department and was attended by corporates. “There have been inquiries from corporates who have sought our requirements. We are hopeful though nothing concrete has materialised so far,” said Mr. Kantharaj.
The Forest Department is not seeking contributions in cash but want the corporates to pitch in with kind as part of their corporate social responsibility.
The anti-poaching camps are in different locations of the national park and each such camp is manned by five people at any given time. The personnel are equipped with monthly ration to sustain themselves and have to be on guard on rotation basis round the clock.
One of the significant features of the model camp is regular power supply to the unit as it harnesses solar energy. This ensures not only efficient lighting but enables the staff to recharge their mobile handsets and communication equipments.
*Aranyaka, the first eco-friendly anti-poaching camp was established at Avarepura, Bandipur
*One of its salient features was the use of eco-friendly materials at the site of construction