The forest department has restricted the entry of villagers and domestic animals into the Atei reserve forest in Keonjhar district. The move came following reports of the killing of buffalos by a tiger.
Issuing letters, the forest range officer, Ghatagaon range, asked the people of three panchayats namely Badajamupasi, Uparadiha and Kolitmati of Anandapur Sub Division not to venture into the reserve forest nor let their domestic animals go into the jungle.
He also clarified that no compensation would be given if they or their animals suffer any damage inside the reserve forest area as per Section 45 DD (iii) of the Wild Life (Protection) (Orissa) Rules 1974.
“We have sensitised the sarpanches of Badajamupasi, Uparadiha and Kolitmati panchayats who in turn will create awareness among their villagers. The residents living in villages adjacent to the jungle earn their livelihood by collecting and selling minor forest produces like leaves. As there has been a ban on their going into the forest, it would hamper their financial condition. So we have given training to them on how to prepare vermicompost pits. From a pit, they would earn Rs 80,000 a year,” said Assistant Conservator of Forests, Ghanashyam Mahanta.
“It is a common practice among the villagers to release their buffalos in jungles after the cultivation. We have also asked them to refrain from this practice,” added Mahanta.