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Special monsoon patrolling to curb poaching in Corbett

Hindustan Times
1 Jul 2017

Operation Monsoon’ - a specialised patrolling – will resume in Corbett National Park from July 1 to check poaching during the rainy season.

Specialised teams were set up this year for surprise raids during the annual exercise in Corbett that is spread in an area of 1,300 sq km, an official said.

Chances of poaching increase during rains as poachers find it easy in view of harsh swamp like conditions, broken pathways or waterlogged places and less tourist activities.

Three out of five zones of Corbett -- home to 215 endangered Royal Bengal Tigers as per All India Tiger Estimation – have already been shut for tourists in accordance with National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA) guidelines.

In view of monsoon being breeding season for tigers, damage of roads and safety of tourists, the NTCA in August 2015 asked tiger parks in the country to remain shut during the season. It, however, allows field directors to take a decision on their own after looking into prevailing conditions.

“This time, some surprise teams would hide at vulnerable points from where poaching might take place,” said Surendra Mehra, director of Corbett National Park.

Inter-state patrolling would be conducted around the park during the monsoon for which authorities of bordering Bijnore district in Uttar Pradesh have been contacted, said Mehra.

Police of Bijnore’s Sherkot, Afzalgarh, Amangarh, Mandavali areas have been asked to keep a vigil as poachers can enter the jungles through these points, he said.

Around 500 field personnel would be deployed in the park for round the clock patrolling during the monsoon along with 200 daily wagers, he said.

The field staff have been given fresh stock of ammunition so that they can deal with any situation. “Posts set up deep in the jungles are also being given ration in case they have to be stationed at some points due to rains,” said Mehra.