Two forest officials under scanner for Tadoba tiger deaths
Ashwin Aghor / DNA
Monday, June 01, 2009 2:12:00 AM
The state government has finally taken the issue of disappearance of tigers from Chandrapur district seriously after DNA reported that 20 tigers were feared poached in the last five months in the conflict area outside Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve (TATR).
The sudden end to the man-tiger conflict raised many eyebrows and the tall claims of the forest department about having evidence of tigers’ presence came to be questioned.
Moreover, a letter by the former principal chief conservator of forest (wildlife) B Majumdar, before he quit the department to join Nagpur bench of Maharashtra Administrative Tribunal (MAT), wrote a letter to the director general of forests and the National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) alleging that tigers of Vidarbha were under severe threat since inter-state poaching syndicates were operating in the region and the wildlife department was not being able to take them on.
After a letter to this effect by NTCA, the government woke up and started reviewing the situation. Sources said that the two conservators of forests posted in Chandrapur are in line of fire for alleged incompetence in protecting the national animal.
Meanwhile, the Tiger Monitoring Committee headed by chief conservator of forests (wildlife), Nagpur Nandkishor met in Chandrapur on Friday to discuss the crisis. “The meeting was convened to discuss sudden disappearance of tigers from the conflict area,” said Nandkishor.
DNA on May 20, highlighted the sudden end to man-tiger conflict which had claimed 11 human lives in 2006, 14 in 2007 and 26 in 2008. Surprisingly, only one human death has been reported in the last five months, which was on January 21.