By Mrityunjay Bose
The Tadoba landscape in Vidarbha region, which is home to 100 plus tigers, would soon have a high-tech surveillance system.
Aerially-mounted 360-degree view cameras would be installed to provide 24x7 inputs on movements of animals and birds, villagers, forest staff, guards and poachers.
The Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR) in Chandrapur district is Maharashtra’s oldest and largest national park and one of India’s 48 Project Tiger reserves. It has tigers in the core area, buffer zone, periphery and the complete landscape.
“This is being done on a pilot basis and the experiment would be replicated elsewhere in Maharashtra,” Finance and Planning Minister Sudhir Mungantiwar told Deccan Herald.
“The government is committed to protect wildlife and nature and we will take all necessary steps,” said Mungantiwar, who is also the forests minister besides being the guardian minister of Chandrapur district.
According to him, the thermal cameras would be mounted on an elevated platform or masts – at a significant height – and the mount would also have solar panels to keep the cameras running.
“Initially we would start with 9 to 10 such cameras and cover a cross section of TATR and would increase on its success,” he said, adding that the feeds would reach a control room which would have multiple-screens to have real-time view.
Mungantiwar said that he has seen such projects in Madhya Pradesh and was impressed with it. “When I saw the screens of the control room, I saw the movement of animals clearly....in areas around the village, I could see people moving,” he said, pointing out that the movement of poachers and people laying traps would also be known.
Often referred to as ‘Jewel of Vidarbha’, Tadoba is an infinite treasure trove of innumerable species of trees and plants and wildlife that includes tigers, panthers, sloth bears, hyenas, jackals, wild dogs, bison, barking deer, nilgai and sambar. The park derives its name from "Taru" the local deity, whereas the Andhari river that meanders through the forest gives the sanctuary its name.