Hyderabad

Forest dept. issues SOP for fringe villages

Amid growing fear of movement of tigers in Kumaram Bheem Asifabad district and killing of a 15-year-old girl last week in Kondapally gram panchayat in Mannewada hamlet of Penchikalpet mandal, the forest department has issued standard operating procedure for the villagers residing in the fringe villages near forest areas.

In a detailed order issued here on Wednesday, Principal Chief Conservator of Forests & Chief Wildlife Warden R. Sobha asked the villagers to take utmost precautions while venturing into the agricultural fields adjacent to the forest areas.

The guidelines wanted the villagers to avoid leaving strip gaps/pathways in agricultural fields.

That means crops should be closely planted for 10 rows on the periphery without leaving any pathways.

Avoid forest routes

They were asked to avoid routes passing through the forest areas.

The residents were asked not to object to check-gates placed by the forest department along the forest roads.

Further, a minimum 8 to 10 people were asked to go to agricultural fields for harvesting or other agricultural operations.

In that group one person should be compulsorily deployed as sentry, whose duty is to make sound by drum beating and whistling, the SOP mentioned.

The farmer shall stay on machan in agricultural field while guarding his crop.

Also, the shepherds were asked to go in groups and avoid taking the cattle deep inside the forest for grazing and restrict to half kilometre from the village.

The shepherds should go for grazing after 9 a.m. and return by 4 p.m., forest officials said, adding that every villager going to the field should have a protection stick with small bell tied to it. People working in the field and also shepherds shall wear face mask on the back side of the head, it was pointed out. A village protection committee would be formed with local sarpanch as the chairperson and Forest Beat officer as convenor.

Every morning the villagers shall give information to village protection committee about the field they are going, number of people who are going, sentry to that group, number of villagers. They should not go to field with out approval of village protection committee.

Monitoring panel

Meanwhile, the Forest department has felt that it was desirable to constitute a monitoring committee as per the SoP of NTCA to track and deal with the said tiger with Adilabad Conservator of Forests as chairman.

It will have six other members who would draw up a plan of action for dealing with the said tiger keeping in view the safety of the people living in villages in the nearby areas, their livestock and also safety of the said tiger.

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Printable version | Jan 17, 2021 9:45:08 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/forest-dept-issues-sop-for-fringe-villages/article33234663.ece

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