Expert concerned over wildlife scene in Chhattisgarh

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 03 Oct 2018 10:42:35


Staff Reporter,


As the State Forest Department celebrates Wildlife Week from October 2 to 8, a veteran Wildlife Expert Pran Chadha called attention to pitiable conditions of the wildlife in the Chhattisgarh.

Being an ex-member of Wildlife Advisory Board of Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh altogether for 20 years and still going strong with his wildlife photography, Pran Chadha has exceptional expertise in the wildlife of Central India.
Expressing his concerns over the appalling state of wildlife, Chadha states that it will be just a formality speaking on stats of which species of tiger are extinct and which are extant as it is all available on the internet. But, there are very people to talk on the betterment of the wildlife in Chhattisgarh and reason is the scantiness of officers, writers who have expertise in the field.

No one knows how many tigers are there in Chhattisgarh since no scientific census has been conducted. All the data are just based on assumptions. There is also no statistics on wild buffalo. Jungles of Bastar are fraught with Naxals and Forest officials/staff won’t enter there for the fear of life. Wild elephants are outspreading after the formation of state and so does the conflicts between elephants and humans. So many measures taken, but the problem only grew with every step. Elephants outnumber tigers and wild buffaloes in Chhattisgarh, but the promise of Project Elephant has turned out to be just a hollow assurance. The places marked for Elephant Reserve have been sacrificed to the altar of coal mining by big corporate groups.
The State has the potential of wildlife tourism, bu

t you have to visit Bandhavgarh, Kanha, and Tadoba of neighbouring states to see the tigers. Some fake news of tiger spotting in Achanakmar were also doing round in some major newspapers, but since they can’t even differentiate between a stork and a Siberian crane, it is pointless expecting anything from them. However, few journalists have risen and taken up the task of wildlife protection, whose news formed the basis of public interest litigations filed in the High Court by noted Wildlife/Environment conservationist Nitin Singhvi. The Court has also responded with sensitiveness.

The question still persists as exactly what Forest Department does in the wildlife week? Migratory birds stay under threat during three months of their sojourn in the state and no measure is taken for their protection. Police caught a tiger hide while the Forest Department attempted to shrug off accountability by declaring the hide sourced from Odisha, only to end up in the foot in the mouth situation as the revelation occurred that hide came from a tiger recorded in the Udanti-Sitanadi.

How can he give compliments of wildlife week to such officials, questioned Chadha and added that he meets so many officials calling a male Cheetal (Spotted deer or axis deer) a Barasingha (Swamp Deer) and call the tiger a Sher (lion)? Chhattisgarh is still waiting for its first bird sanctuary while crores of rupees are squandered on Jungle safari, but wildlife wanders for water in tiger reserves and sanctuaries during summer. Unless there is water, there will be no grass, no grass means no ungulates and if there are no ungulates, why would a tiger come to starve in Chhattisgarh forests, Pran Chadha stated with great disgruntlement.