PAIGHAT ( By Maksam Tayeng)- Deputy Chief Conservator of Forest, CAMPA from office of Principal Chief Conservator of Forest, Itanagar visited D. Ering Wildlife Sanctuary on 23rd and 24th October 2021 as a part of monitoring the funds sanctioned for the protection of the sanctuary. Ankit Kumar, IFS, DCF, CAMPA wrapped up his visit to the DEWS today after visiting the core zone areas of the sanctuary.
Kumar inspected the construction of Range office, transit camp and others of the sanctuary at Borguli Wildlife range which were completed in the recent past. Kumar also visited the other vital locations of the sanctuary like a natural lake inside the thick forest, isolated and unique grassland surrounded by thick forest and part of north Jopong areas.
After visiting the sanctuary, Kumar said that it was his first such unique experience of visiting the D. Ering Wildlife Sanctuary which is one of the most difficult sanctuaries where protection teams of the DEWS need to cross several parts of divided Siang river from both East and West of the Sanctuary. “After coming to this sanctuary and visiting its various prime locations/core zones I came to know how difficult it is for the frontline staff to keep regular protection of the sanctuary from hunters and illegal timber smugglers (driftwood), especially during monsoon and flood time.
By sitting at the PCCF office, an officer doesn’t know the ground reality and requirements of the sanctuary. DEWS, being one of the most beautiful and eco-tourism potential sanctuary due to its pristine beauty and its unique location in the islands of divided parts/branches of Siang river comprising of both grasslands and thick forest, need more infrastructures and supports for the frontline staffs”, said Kumar who is a young IFS officer of 2019 batch.
Kumar also said that he will try his best to convey the genuine requirements of the sanctuary and the support with care required for the field staff to the PCCF office so that basic infrastructures and support are provided to DEWS. Seeing the regular presence of Wild Elephants and other endangered species like Bengal Florican birds etc, Kumar batted for more support from project elephant and others to the DEWS which happened to be the state’s oldest Wildlife sanctuary.
Divisional Forest Officer, DEWS, Tasang Taga briefed the visiting officer about the ground situation of the sanctuary and appealed to the PCCF office to support the sanctuary’s protection work as several required infrastructures and others are deprived to the DEWS. “DEWS, being surrounded by several fringe villages from both left and right banks whose major bulk of populations are hunters by tradition having direct and indirect dependency upon the sanctuary, need community projects like fishery ponds, piggery, goat farms, distribution of CGI sheets to reduce collection of Thatch from the sanctuary besides conducting routine awareness programmes among the fringe villagers as a confidence building measures”, added Taga.
DFO Wildlife, Taga also raised concern over the attempts of some higher officials trying to confine the confidence building measures/activities of the sanctuary authority within the sanctuary boundary just to let a D. Ering wildlife sanctuary division initiated elephant corridor project to be handed over to the territorial forest division which actually doesn’t require confidence building measures with the fringe villages of the DEWS to protect wildlife of the sanctuary.
The sanctuary management has been routinely conducting awareness programmes in the fringe villages of the sanctuary from long time while providing piggery, fishery and CGI sheets for roofing purposes to reduce the people’s dependency on the sanctuary in the past as without community supports and confidence building measures with them, the protection of the sanctuary’s wildlife is very difficult. He also informed the visiting officer about the huge needs of fuel for the patrolling engine boats as most of the patrolling activities are done from the Siang river’s several divided branches to check illegal entry of hunters into the sanctuary.