Alert in Maha tiger sanctuaries to curb poaching

Mumbai: The Maharashtra government has issued an alert in the tiger sanctuaries in the state following information that poachers are preparing to hunt down tigers.

Principal Secretary (Forests) Praveen Pardeshi said his department has got information that poachers of Bahalia gang from Katni are on the lookout for tigers here due to the demand from China.

"We have asked forest authorities for hundred percent monitoring of water holes in tiger reserves. Similarly, we have taken up advertisement and information campaign to apprise locals about the situation and promise rewards for information about poachers," he said.

Additional water holes will also be constructed so that tigers have alternate places. Similarly, rewards will be given to locals who pass on information about poachers to authorities and help protect tigers following the state government`s decision to involve them in having a positive stake in wildlife conservation.

The move is aimed at avoiding tiger-human conflict in buffer zones outside tiger reserves.There are about 100 tigers outside the reserves without protection and efforts are on to give ownership of the Tiger reserves to the locals. "Many times poachers are helped by locals," Pardeshi said.

"Villagers in Tadoba run the eco tourist routes. The guards and guide should be appointed from among the locals and the tourists pay the fees directly to them. The fees of local youth working as a tourist guide have been hiked from Rs 100 to Rs 200," he said.