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Nod to border fence near tiger reserve
- National security fears prompt move

Guwahati, May 10: The National Board for Wildlife has given its nod to the construction of a 62-km fence and patrol road along the Bangladesh boundary near Dampa tiger reserve in Mizoram keeping in view the interest of national security.

Last year, an expert team constituted by the National Tiger Conservation Authority had opposed the construction of the fence and patrol road near the tiger reserve, stressing that it would impact the movement of animals.

A source said a site inspection team in its report, submitted to the National Board for Wildlife, has called for a detailed survey which needs to be undertaken by the BSF, involving representatives of the state government and the tiger reserve authorities.

It said the fence and road should be built as close as possible along the international boundary to minimise the loss of animal habitat at the 500 square km tiger reserve, which was brought under Project Tiger in 1994.

The ministry of home affairs had plans to construct a three-line wire fencing, besides seven border outposts.

The inspection team also recommended that road and border outposts should be on the Bangladesh side to ensure that the Dampa tiger reserve habitat remains sacrosanct and free from disturbance.

The team said the requisite forest clearance under the Forest (Conservation) Act, 1980, should be obtained only after the exact area involved in the project is worked out.

The ministry of home affairs has informed the National Board for Wildlife that the road as well as the fencing was of utmost importance to stop the infiltration from Bangladesh.

Besides, the spot had been chosen from three alternatives because it involved minimal destruction of forestland and trees, besides being technically feasible.

The National Board for Wildlife has now written to the ministry of home affairs about the recommendations of the site inspection team.

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