Maha mulls involving locals to avoid tiger-human conflict in buffer zones
Mumbai: With an intention to avoid tiger-human conflict in buffer zones outside tiger reserves, the Maharashtra government has decided to involve locals in having a positive stake in wildlife conservation.
Officials in the Forest department said because of the spillover of tigers outside the reserves, the government wants to cut down involvement of poachers.
"Many times poachers are helped by locals," sources said.
There are about 100 tigers outside the reserves without protection and efforts are on to give ownership of the Tiger reserves to the locals.
"Villagers in Tadoba run the eco tourist routes. The guards and guide should be appointed from among the locals and the tourists pay the fees directly to them. The fees of local youth working as a tourist guide have been hiked from Rs 100 to Rs 200," sources said.
The 79 villages in the buffer zone around tiger reserves in the state are being provided 75 per cent subsidised cooking and biogas for two years.
"About 80-90 per cent of the families use fuel, wood. There are about 2,000 families in the 79 villages in Tadoba buffer zone," officials said.
Sources said villagers are being encouraged to get their cattle stall-fed instead of leaving them for grazing outside the park. Similarly, compensation for cattle kills is being hiked.