Fencing to mitigate tiger-man conflict: State Forest dept earmarks 62 km in Sunderbans

Fencing to mitigate tiger-man conflict: State Forest dept earmarks 62 km in Sunderbans

Kolkata: The state Forest department has earmarked 62 km area where it will put up fencing to prevent incidents1 of tiger straying in human

habitat and at the same time prevent venturing of fishermen in the core area of the forest and getting killed by the big cat.

In the month of December there have been three incidents of such tiger straying with officials from the Forest department toiling hard to drive the tigers into their natural habitat and ensuring at the same time that there is no damage to human lives.

There has been a reasonable number of deaths of fishermen in tiger attacks when they had gone for catching crabs or collecting honey.

"The netting will be done for the purpose of mitigating tiger-man conflict. We will ensure that the natural movement of the tiger as well as the crocodile which are the assets of Sunderbans are not jeopardized by any means," state Forest minister Jyotipriya Mallick said.

The minister also informed that a proposal involving Rs 700 crores have been prepared in this regard and has been sent to Japan International Cooperation Agency

(JICA) which funds similar projects. The minister informed that JICA has already evinced interest in this matter and

he is optimistic that the proposal will get cleared in three to four months time so that work for the netting can start.

Tiger expert Joydip Kundu said that tiger straying in human habitat is not uncommon in Sunderbans however with the forest department putting nylon net in the interface such incidents have become minimum.

There is also round the clock monitoring by forest guards to check whether netting is compromised .

"Sometimes the tiger gets confused with the vegetation inside the forest and those found in the village borders being more or less the same. Moreover, it can prey easily on livestock in the villages," Kundu pointed out.

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