State policy soon on steps to curb man-animal conflict

In a bid to minimise the damage caused to forests and wildlife due to infrastructure projects, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis on Wednesday directed all implementing agencies of proposed projects to hold a joint meeting and check whether a single, consolidated and elevated road can be constructed instead of multiple ones. Chairing the 14th meeting of the State Wildlife Board, Mr. Fadnavis directed that a committee be set up to draft the State’s policy on measures to curb frequent man-animal conflict. “These project implementing agencies should first submit their report suggesting measures to be taken to avoid any impact on wild life. A joint meeting of proponents of proposed and existing projects should be held with additional chief secretary with the CM office and only then the work should progress,” Mr. Fadnavis said in the meeting. One of the key projects that is set to pose a threat to the wildlife in and around the city is Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet bullet train project which is likely to take over parts of the Sanjay Gandhi National Park, Tungareshwar sanctuary and Thane creek flamingo sanctuary. The freight corridor, multi-modal corridor and ropeway project are other infra projects that seem poised to threaten the SGNP. Anish Andheria, president, Wildlife Conservation Trust, said the joint meeting of all project proponents will be held in the coming week. “Our concern is to ensure minimal damage to the forest. Instead of constructing more than one corridor and causing more damage, we would discuss whether all these projects can be consolidated in a single corridor,” he said. The State government is also considering revoking the ban on tourism during monsoon in six tiger projects across the State. “There is a need to ensure locals in these tiger project get employment and therefore, a well-studied report reconsidering the ban on tourism in these projects during monsoon should be sent to the national tiger conservation authority,” said Mr. Fadnavis. New sanctuary Maharashtra may soon get a new sanctuary in Vidarbha as Mr. Fadnavis on Wednesday extended in-principle approval to the formation of Kanargaon sanctuary. As per the information submitted by Mr Andheria, the WCT camera trapped 11 adult tigers and 23 adult leopards in this area which falls on the border of Telangana.

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