Palamau Tiger Reserve
Ranchi, March 22: Expect some roars in Jharkhand’s tiger den — if not from the big cats, surely from a big official.
Rajesh Gopal, the member secretary of National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) and additional director-general of Project Tiger, is scheduled to arrive on an inspection visit in the Palamau reserve on April 3.
Reserve sources said the official would be in the state till April 5.
The majestic Royal Bengal tigers in Palamau may continue to remain secluded from regular sightings raising concerns of their existence, but the guardians there are expected to take some tough questions.
Principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) S.N. Trivedi maintained that he was yet to get a written statement but added he too received the information over phone today.
“Yes, I have been informed about the visit by the reserve authorities over phone, but a formal letter in this regard is yet to arrive my office,” he said, adding it would be difficult to comment on the purpose of the visit without any official intimation.
While NTCA teams have toured Palamau Tiger Reserve in the last few years, the current visit assumes importance because of the person.
“The one who is coming this time is technically the boss of NTCA, the apex body that governs all tiger reserves in the country. His arrival may now bring some positive changes here,” said a source.
Ills that continue to plague the lone tiger reserve in Jharkhand are an open secret. Right from irregular financial grants to management issues such as low prey base, lack of effective resources due to manpower and infrastructure crunch are much talked and written about.
Except empty claims nothing much has changed for the reserve because of myopic management plans. As such, officials who work on the ground are subjected to various kinds of threats and problems while protecting the big cats.
“The biggest problem is of manpower but we can’t do anything, as it is up to the government. But what the department can do at its own level too suffers. For example, the proposal of a tiger foundation is pending for years now, whereas the issue of a conservation plan and timely release of funds for proper works and habitat management are just worsening,” highlighted an official, hoping the visit of the NTCA official would lead to some solutions.