Odisha Govt to strengthen protection measures in Similipal Tiger Reserve: Chief Secy

Bhubaneswar: Protection measures in Similipal Tiger Reserve (STR) of Odisha’s Mayurbhanj district will be strengthened soon. This was decided today in a high-level meeting chaired by Odisha Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena, which was held at Lok Seva Bhawan in Bhubaneswar.

Acting on the directives of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, it was decided that raids will be intensified to seize the illegal firearm manufacturing units, which are operational in nearby villages of the STR. Legal actions will also be initiated against persons involved in the manufacturing of illegal firearms.

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Regular combing operations will be carried out in the Tiger Reserve by the Mayurbhanj district police.

Similarly, surveillance and intelligence activities will soon be stepped up in the Tiger Reserve. A fresh Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) will be devised for the purpose, by a joint team of Mayurbhanj Police and Forest Department, in consultation with the STR authorities.

Moreover, training will be imparted on a regular basis to the forest personnel in STR on the use of firearms. Outdated double-barrel guns will be replaced with modern firearms and ammunition.

In consultation with the Mayurbhanj district administration, active community participation will be ensured through awareness programmes and by making local panchayat leaders involved for the protection of the Tiger Reserve.

Unless and until the vacant positions in the district Forest department are filled up, both the department and STR authorities will engage their respective staffs from other divisions for the purpose of animal surveillance, including patrolling to nab the poachers and wood mafia as well, an official source said.

Forest, Environment and Climate Change department Additional Chief Secretary Satyabrata Sahu and Director General of Police (DGP) Sunil Kumar Bansal, including several other senior forest, police and administrative officials participated in the meeting.

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