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BJP leader opposes wildlife sanctuary in Chandrapur

Tigers

BJP MLC from Chandrapur Shobhatai Fadnavis has opposed Maharashtra Government’s decision to establish a wildlife sanctuary

TigersChandrapur: BJP MLC from Chandrapur Shobhatai Fadnavis has opposed Maharashtra Government’s decision to establish a wildlife sanctuary at Kanhalgaon near here, saying it will adeversely affect the livelihood of inhabitants of around 20 villages in the area.

She also criticised the Goverment for its move to hand over forest land from Chandrapur district to Forest Development Corporation of Maharashtra (FDCM) in lieu of its land being demarcated for the proposed Koka Wildlife Sanctuary in adjoining Bhandara district.

Fadnavis said the State has failed to provide rehabilitation facilities to a majority of villages located within Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in the district ever since it was declared a reserve in 1982, and so its decision on Kanhalgaon does not inspire confidence.

She said the alarming rise in cases of man-animal conflicts in the recent times, resulting in loss of human lives, was basically due to negligence and laxity of Forest Deparment officials.

Elaborating on Kanhalgaon project, the BJP leader said 265 sq kms of forest area under Ballarpur, Gondpipri, Pombhurna and Mul tehsils of the district has been demarcated for the new proposed wildlife sancturay. The future of inhabitants in as many as 20 villages falling under this area would be under threat, she claimed.

“Once the sanctuary is established, practically everything, right from free movement of villagers in forest area for farming, collection of firewood, access to water bodies would be restricted by the Forest Department that is bound to make the life of the inhabitants miserable.”

On the issue of land transfer for Koka Wildlife Sanctuary, Fadnavis indicated taking legal recourse. “Any attempt by the Government to transfer forest area in the district to FDCM would be opposed in a ourt of law.”

The legislator said FDCM had not been functioning effectively and degradation of forests has taken place in the areas under its control.

“Vidarbha is gifted with 50 per cent forest cover unlike other parts in Maharastra and we are not prepared to part with them for their degradation at the hands of FDCM,” maintained Fadnavis.

PTI

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