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State Forest minister to visit Sunderbans

Kolkata: State Forest minister Rajib Banerjee will visit the Sunderbans on Wednesday, to take stock of the damage suffered due to the cyclonic storm Bulbul that had hit the state on November 9.

The minister will also meet the forest officials and staff there and witness of her own the restoration work that has been carried out by his department .

"I will be visiting Netidhopani, Dobanki, Sajnekhali and Jharkhali and will also check on my own the nylon net fencing along the bank of the rivers that have been damaged due to the storm.

The tiger rescue centre at Jharkhali which is a major tourist attraction has been affected by Bulbul," Banerjee said.

The minister will also discuss with his officials on how to speed up restoration of mangrove cover that has also been affected by the cyclone.

"We have already restored nylon net fencing in 60 percent of the area which has been identified as critical. The rest of the work will start soon with the availability of funds," a senior official of the state Forest department said.

The nylon net fencing prevents tigers or other animals straying into human habitat.

It may be mentioned that Banerjee has already instructed his officials to come up with a master plan to make the Sunderbans more attractive for tourists and take measures to increase the mangrove cover.

Environmentalists had said that the mangrove cover of the Sunderbans had acted as a shield against the cyclone, against cyclonic storm Bulbul that had hit the state on November 9. It was found that the areas located in close proximity to the mangrove cover witnessed lesser devastation. Some of the areas in and around Sagar Islands, where mangrove cover is minimum was badly affected by the cyclone, while in the eastern part of these affected places, where there is mangrove cover, the effect of the cyclone was found to be lesser.

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