In a bid to curb poaching, the Maharashtra govt will deploy 500 armed guards in four tiger sanctuaries of the state and the guards would be given orders to 'shoot at sight'
Alarmed by the deaths of two tigers in Maharashtra forest reserves, state Forest Minister Patangrao Kadam Tuesday said that over 500 armed guards will be recruited for four forest reserves of the state and will be given shoot at sight orders against poachers.
Kadam announced that 523 new guards will be recruited soon and will be deployed at four forest reserves of the state -- Tadoba, Pench, Melghat and Sahyadri. No action will be taken against those armed guards who will shoot suspected poachers, he said.
The minister lamented the fact that two tigers died after they were caught in a steel trap and died in Tadoba forest reserve in Chandrapur district.
Kadam has also appointed a four-member committee of experts to advise the government on steps to be taken for precautions against poaching of tigers.
Steps have also been taken to keep electricity supply in check as one of the reasons for deaths of tigers has been electrocution. The irrigation department has also been alerted to ensure maximum water holes.
As many as 100 new patrol vehicles for range officers have also been allotted. Teams of State Reserve Police Force (SRPF) have been deployed in these forests.
A secret fund of Rs.50 lakh has also been sanctioned to give incentives to informers providing tips about smugglers and poachers to the forest officials.