RAJAN RAIKWAR BHOPAL

The Forest department is mulling over a proposal to carve out a core area in the 907sq km- Ratapani sanctuary, which is having a sizeable tiger population.

The proposal will be forwarded to the Principal

Chief Conservator of Forest ( PCCF) by the sanctuary officials and later it will go to state government.

The state government would forward it to the Centre for final approval.

In fact, wild animals, straying into human settlements and attacking the cattle has resulted from the rising number of tigersalt39 population in the sanctuary.

That is why the foresters have decided to take a decision to carve out that part of the sanctuary.

Sources in the forest department told Free Press that there is a proposal under consideration to chalk out a core area in Ratapani sanctuary, which is having at least ten tigers. According to the proposal, the core area will be of 849 square km. If this proposal gets a go- ahead then it will be a big achievement for the sanctuary and boon for the felines in the sanctuary.

Superintendent of Ratapani Sanctuary, Raghvendra Singh said if core area gets notified then tigers will have a safe place to live in. Nine villages are located in the proposed core area and they need to be relocated. At present, villagers are also living under a shadow of fear and they are willing to get relocated. Talks have been held with the residents of at least two villages and villagers are willing to go out of sanctuary without any objection. Forest minister Sartaj Singh also confirmed that the proposal related to core area of Ratapani sanctuary is in under process and several villages needs to be shifted out of the forest area to pave the way for the core area. It is also learnt that once core area gets notified then buffer zone proposal would be considered.

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