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Task force to be set up at Bihar's Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve
Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna |
November 06, 2007 16:51 IST
Last Updated: November 06, 2007 17:29 IST
To curb the dwindling population of tigers in Bihar's Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve, the state government plans a dedicated protection force -- which will have only retired army personnel-- to fight poachers.
"The Centre, which is ready to fully fund the project, has approved a proposal by the state government. The recruitment of retired army personnel will begin soon," Bihar's chief conservator of forest-cum-chief warden Murariji Mishra said.
"To begin with, the force will have 50 retired army personnel and later the force will be expanded," Mishra told rediff.com.
Regarded as one of the best-maintained tiger reserve in the country, the Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve under West Champaran district near Nepal border is the only Tiger reserve in Bihar after its bifurcation seven years ago.
But, the tiger reserve has become a hunting ground for poachers and it faces a large-scale encroachment that resulted into sharp decline of tigers.
According to the CAG report of 2005-06, there is a sharp decline in the population of tigers in the Valmikinagar Tiger Project. It said while Valmikinagar had 56 tigers in 2002, it came down to 33 by 2005. The latest figure is still awaited.
In view of threat to tigers from encroachment, the Union ministry of forest and environment had directed the Bihar government to shift 28 villages from the core area of Valmikinagar Tiger Reserve.