Maharashtra State Wildlife Board clears proposal for 12 new conservation sanctuaries & 3 reserves
The Maharashtra State Wildlife Board (MSWB) on Monday approved the proposal of 12 new sanctuaries and 3 reserves, marking a significant episode of the wildlife conservation and environment preservation in the state. As per reports, the decision was announced by the CM Uddhav Thackeray at the 18th Meeting of the MSWB in Aurangabad. The plan of action also includes the expansion of Lonar Sanctuary in Buldhana.
Towards wildlife conservation
Maharashtra has notified 15 conservation reserve areas, of which 8 have been approved in the last 2 years. The decision of 12 such new spaces adds to the list, strengthening the wildlife conservation scheme of the state.
Two of these sanctuaries will be set up in the Dhule district, stretching for about 66.04 square km of land in Chivaibawri, and a bigger 100.56 square km one in Aladari. On similar lines, Raigad district will also house 2 sanctuaries, including 47.62 square km in Raigan and another 27.30 square km in Roha.
In addition to those, four wildlife spaces will be set up in the Nagpur district, covering 84.12 square km in Kalvan, 42.87 square km in Muragad, 96.97 square km in Trimbakeshwar and 88.499 square km in Igatpuri. The remaining four will come at Pune district's Bhor( 28.44 square km), Satara district's Dare-Khurd for butterflies (1.07 square km), Kolhapur district's Masai Plateau (5.34 square km) and Nagpur district's Mogarkasa (103.92 square km).
Next in line, a bird sanctuary in Aurangabad
The SWB also approved the proposal to declare Kolamarka, Muktai Bhavani and extended Lonar as wildlife sanctuaries in the state. A plan to set up the Jayakwadi Bird Sanctuary in Aurangabad has been cleared as well. A proposal for the same will now be submitted to the National Wildlife Board for further actions.
Besides, 10 spots have been designated as 'endangered wildlife habitats' in different parts of Maharashtra.
These include Mayureshwar-Supe (5.15 square km), Bor (62 square km), Navin Bor (61 square km), extended Bor (16 square km), Narnala (12 square km.), Lonar (3.65 square km), Gugamal National Park (361 square km), Yedshi Ramalingaghat Wildlife Sanctuary (22.37 square km), Naigaon-Mayur Wildlife Sanctuary (30 square km) and the tiniest one, Deulgaon-Rehekuri Antelope Sanctuary (2.17 square km).
A model for peaceful co-existence of life
The 18th SWB review further saw the Chief Minister direct concerned officials to find out a permanent solution to the problems of wild elephants rampaging in Dodamarg region of Sindhudurg district within two months. The plan aims at peaceful co-existence of mankind and wildlife, via the following directives:
Closing the entry of elephants at Ajra, Chandgad and Tilari areas of Maharashtra
Providing enhanced compensation to villagers affected due to the damage caused to their farms and properties by elephant herds
Rehabilitation of the forest dwellers and affected people prior to the installation of the sanctuaries
Conducting environment, ecological assessment before the formulation of any development proposal
Gain SWB approval at all levels before implementing the development work
Adding to this, Environment Minister Aditya Thackeray said that care should be taken not to disturb wildlife paths, particularly in sensitive areas with tigers, while granting approval to road development works through jungles. Prosper discussion with all stakeholders, experts and local NGOs should also be exercised before a decision is made.