Jammu: Commissioner Secretary, Forest, Ecology and Environment, Sanjeev Verma today chaired a meeting to review the working of Wildlife Protection Department, J&K at Nature Interpretation Centre (NIC), Manda Zoo, here.
The meeting was attended bySuresh Kumar Gupta, Chief Wildlife Warden, J&K, Dr. Kumar M.K, Regional Wildlife Warden Jammu, Anil Kumar Atri, Wildlife Warden Jammu, Amit Sharma, Wildlife Warden Jambu Zoo, Sohail Ahmed Wagay, Wildlife Warden (Technical), Dr. Arun Gupta, Wildlife Warden (HQ) amongst others.
During the meeting, a detailed presentation on working of the department was presented by Chief Wildlife Warden, highlighting the progress achieved viz-a-viz targets for the financial year 2020-21 and targets laid for the year 2021-22. He also highlighted about the major works of department like Habitat Improvement, Protection and Surveillance, Handling of Man-Animal Conflicts,Mapping of Protected Areas, Forest fire control management, Infrastructure- development works, Research-Survey and Census, etc during the presentation.
Commissioner Secretary Forests while appreciating the diverse nature of Wildlife Conservation Projects being implemented by Department, urged them for early completion of Technical vetting and tendering process for timely completion of Plan works.
He stressed on the importance of securing the Forest corridors that connects various Protected areas to have a undisturbed landscape for apex species like Snow Leopard, Markhor, Hangul, Ibex. He also urged on the importance of having baseline data of major wild species for evaluation of Protected area management effectively.
Considering the unique wild animals and diverse natural habitat as major attractions for tourists and nature lovers, Sanjeev Verma advised the department to operationalize the notified trekking routes besides restoration and improvement of Wetlands, Forest Inspection Huts/Guest Houses for benefits of local communities and nature lovers.
He directed them to monitor the implementation of mitigation plan of Kishtwar High Altitude National Park as per laid mechanism. He further advised them to initiate works under this project immediately so that limited working season in the area is fully availed.
Sanjeev Verma asked the department for proper publicity of wildlife control rooms and directed them that pending proposals of eco-sensitivity of wildlife areas need to be followed on priority. He impressed upon the officers to fix timeline for preparation and revision of management plans of wildlife areas in J&K.
Chief Wildlife Warden informed the meeting that Wildlife Control Rooms located in 42 man-animal conflict hotspots of J&K have handled 5,924 Wildlife rescues involving leopard, bear, monkey, snake etc. He added that as part of Wildlife Rescue, the Department also disbursed Rs. 104.39 lacs as ex-gratia relief to the 92 victims of human-animal conflicts.
Speaking regarding the man-animal conflicts, Commissioner Secretary asked the officers for mapping of such hotspots for pre-emptive man-animal mitigation measures such as spotting of distress animals, forewarning public, early deployment of rescue team etc.