BAHRAICH: Due to the scarcity of front line staff in Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary, poaching of wildlife and cutting of trees is on the rise.
The divisional forest officer (DFO) Wildlife RK Singh told that Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is an ultra sensitive division and the incidents of illegal poaching and cutting of trees are quite frequent in the area. The incidents of man-animal conflict, which are happening in the state, Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary not only top the rank but the situation is even worse.
About 55 kilometers border of the division touch the Nepal from where most of the poaching incidents are carried out. There are about 65 villages on the border and outside the Wildlife Sanctuary, which are densely populated and create a huge biological pressure on the forests.
The number of tourists is also going up considerably for, which special skills are required to manage them. The poor resources of the division and the scarcity of the front line staff are making it difficult to execute the official work and safeguarding the forest and the wildlife. Following the inclusion of the land of central seed farm in the division, the local farmers are regularly trying to infiltrate into the area and the lack of staff is making it even more difficult to protect it.
As per the report of the sanctuary under the front line forest staff there are two approved posts of sub divisional forest officer and both of them are vacant while 32 posts of forest inspector are approved of, which 8 posts are lying vacant. Besides there are 20 and 48 approved posts of wildlife guards and forest guards out of, which 7 and 37 posts are lying vacant respectively.
Moreover the sanctuary is also facing the scarcity of clerical staff. There is one approved post of head clerk and it is vacant.
Two posts of senior assistants are approved of, which one is vacant, 8 posts of senior clerk are approved of, which 4 are vacant.
Katarniaghat Wildlife Sanctuary is a part of the Dudhwa Tiger Reserve, and is located in Uttar Pradesh near the India-Nepal border, in the Terai area of Bahraich district. It covers an area of 400 km and was established in 1976.
The Katarniaghat Forests provide strategic connectivity between tiger habitats of Dudhwa and Kishanpur in India and the Bardia National Park in Nepal. It is unique for the number of endangered and critically endangered species, which include the gharial, tiger, rhino, Gangetic dolphin, Swamp Deer, Hispid hare, Bengal florican, the White-backed and Long-billed vultures.
The fauna of Katarniaghat is highly fascinating and represented by several species such as the Banded Krait, the Burmese Rock Python, the Yellow Speckled Wolf-snake and the Paradise Flying Snake that have been discovered here fairly recently along with a number of other species still waiting to be discovered.