Forest Deptt to implement PM Ujjawala scheme to prevent chopping of trees

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 04 Feb 2018 10:33:40

By Ankita Garg,

The Madhya Pradesh Forest Department will ensure that villagers living around forests don’t go for chopping trees to burn them as fuel. The answer is implementation of Prime Minister’s pet project the Prime Minister Ujjawala Scheme and the deadline is the end of year 2022.

In a novel step due to an increase in the biotic pressure being exerted in forest areas of Madhya Pradesh, State Forest Department has planned efforts to make the villagers independent in protected areas.Under this scheme, Forest Department is identifying villagers in Kanha and Pench Tiger Reserve areas to connect them with Prime Minister Ujjawala Scheme. Forest Department is conducting a survey in 50 villages around Pench Tiger Reserve and Kanha Tiger Reserve to identify the villagers dependent on the forest for their livelihood.

Villagers, who move on towards jungle for wood, food, cattle grazing and other activities, would be getting LPG connections under PM Ujjawala Scheme. Under this scheme, 75 percent amount will be spent by the Government and remaining 25 percent amount will be borne by the beneficiaries. The department has targetted to connect over 60 villages with Prime Minister Ujjawala Scheme by end of year 2022.

Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest (APCCF) Alok Kumar said, “There is biotic pressure in few areas as basic needs of human being in form of food, water and shelter are met from the forest. We have targetted to reduce forest dependency of villagers inside and outside of reserve areas so that man-animal conflict would be reduced and wildlife habitat would not be destroyed.”  He further added, after being connected with the Ujjawala Scheme, villagers would not move in forest areas to cut the wood, which would indirectly prevent the man-animal conflict as well wildlife habitat loss.

Alok Kumar said, there are many hunting tribes residing around the tiger reserves and are dependent on the forest for their livelihood. They go inside forest every day and cut the wood for cooking food. Their females are facing health issues like breathing problem, weak eyesight, uneasiness, etc. after cooking food on wood as it generates smoke with carbon monoxide and other harmful gases. Indrabhan Singh Bundela, Field Officer WWF said, “Villagers around tiger corridors usually move inside the jungle with their cattle and when they face any kind of conflict with the wildlife, they blame Forest Department. It also creates loss to the wildlife habitat as they cut the wood, tease the animals, pick fruits, etc. After connecting villagers with Ujjawala scheme, they would not need to enter the forest for wood. They will be living a good life with LPG and need not compromise with their health status because of smoke generated from the wood.” He said this scheme would be good for villagers.