Bhopal: Two Madhya Pradesh government departments are at odds over restarting of a carcass utilisation plant inside a wildlife sanctuary which activists say poses threat to tigers living in the area.
While the Animal Husbandry department is trying hard to get the plant operational, which has been not working for about a decade, Forest authorities have opposed it citing wildlife conservation laws.
The plant was set up inside Ratapani sanctuary under Raisen district to ensure proper disposal of dead animals as a joint undertaking of the Centre and state government in 1995 at crores of rupees.
Due to closure of the plant, there is a possibility of spread of infection due to decaying of animals bodies near the sanctuary. As also there is downfall in number of vultures, Animal Husbandry Minister Kusum Singh Mehdele had written in a note to Forest Minister Gaurishankar Shejwar.
"The plant helps in scientific disposal of animals and environment does not get polluted. I request you to take personal interest in the matter and help the plant become operational," she said in the note copy of which was made available to wildlife activist Ajay Dubey under the RTI Act.
Forest department officials said the functioning of the plant is alleged violation of wildlife law. "We have informed our view on it to the authorities concerned and they are looking into it," said K Sharma, Divisional Forest Officer, Obedullaganj.
Wildlife activists are also against the operationalisation of the plant inside the sanctuary saying it poses threat to wild animals including tigers living there.
"There are lot of illegal activities going on inside the sanctuary. The effluents of the plant which were going to Bhadner river, tributary of Narmada, nearby poses threat to the tigers and other animals which come there to drink water. Tigers have also been spotted drinking water there. The plant should be shifted at appropriate location outside otherwise we will move the high court," said Dubey.
He said the state tourism development corporation should also stop running all commercial activities from the sanctuary.
Animal Husbandry department officials said the machinery inside the plant had come from Denmark and it has an in-built effluent treatment plant. "So no waste goes outside," a senior forest official said.
The matter is pending with the state government and no decision has been taken so far, he said.