Need to minimise human interference

by chitrkunwar

There is a need to minimise human interference in the Aravalli Range

It may not be possible to reverse the process of development and undo the large-scale devastation of wildlife habitat in the Aravalli Range, but wildlife activists believe that certain measures can certainly be taken to prevent and reduce future face-offs between humans and wildlife.

Shortage of staff is one of the most important factors affecting the wildlife wing in Gurgaon district. In fact, some districts have no staff to protect the wildlife.

“Besides recruiting more staff, there is a need to minimise human interference in the range. Hilly and adjacent areas of Aravallis, rich in fauna, can be closed to any human interference. Delineation of such an area is a time-consuming exercise and can be completed with the active help of some non-government organisation of repute and expert institutes. Further, the delineated area should be acquired and declared as Protected Area,” said Vivek Kamboj of Haryali Welfare Society.

He added that wildlife conservation was not possible without the active involvement of the local population. “Four-five people from such selected villages, which are close to Aravalli, should be hired and trained to deal wildlife emergencies so that the situation can be dealt with promptly and timely. They are also to be provided with some basic material needed for such operations.”

As many as four roads, including two highways, pass through the Aravalli Range and two more corridors are in the pipeline. But, there are no safe passages for the animals to cross over.

“High fencing should be created along the roadside of those stretches of highways where a good population of wildlife is present on both side of highways. Simultaneously, a bridge which is as natural as possible, can be constructed at certain points to connect rich areas,” said a forest department official, not willing to be identified.

The official said that in view of the current situation, the most viable option for reducing the number of animal deaths by accident was to restrict the vehicular speed to 30 km/hr at certain stretches in wildlife areas.

Also, a fixed time schedule from 7.30 p.m. to 6 a.m could be effective. He added that the National Highways Authority of India and other operators should be instructed to put large signages cautioning about wildlife areas. Speed at toll plaza and other suitable points should be identified by the forest department.

Lack of awareness among masses was another important factor contributing to such incidents. Therefore, fund should be provided for publicity regarding wildlife conservation. No conservation programme can be successful if the local population is not sensitised. The other suggestion includes setting up a rescue team at every district headquarter.

“A rescue team with a veterinary doctor, two wildlife trained people and a driver and a helper should be provided at each district headquarter,” said the official.

As many as four roads pass through the Aravalli Range and two more corridors are in the pipeline. However, there are no safe passages for the animals to cross over

May 18, 2015 05:35 IST The Hindu

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