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Forest department embarks on awareness drive to keep tribal away from hunting fest

Jamshedpur, May 6: The state forest department has launched awareness campaigns and drawn a security blueprint to ensure a bloodless Sendra or Bishu Shikar, which is scheduled at the sprawling Dalma wildlife sanctuary on May 8.

In a bid to prevent tribal hunters from venturing into the Dalma sanctuary during Shikar Festival several initiatives are being taken.

The forest department has made elaborate arrangements to try and keep frenzied tribals from Jharkhand, Bengal and Odisha at bay.

An official added that the objective is to keep the hunters engaged in sports competitions from morning to evening so that they are not able to head for hunting. “Since last few days we have been extensively carrying out awareness drive among the tribals in particular, and villagers at large to minimise the threat to the wildlife and we are confident that our efforts will bear positive result,” said, a Dalma range forest officer.

Of the 82 villages that fall within the Dalma forest jurisdiction a majority have acceded to the forest department official’s word besides, the eco club members who largely played the role on behalf of the forest department in convincing the villagers about the implications of killing animals too are confident of ‘no loss of life’ in the jungles of Dalma on the festival day.

The forest department is very keen to put into practice a suggestion by a tribal to play which suggests playing loud volume music to alert the animals who come to quench their thirst in water holes. Besides, it will also prevent hunters from coming near the water holes.

“We have identified 11 check points and 15 patrol routes as part of security measures in view of Sendra. A total of 51 divisional forest officers (DFO), assistant conservator of forests (ACF) and range officers from different forest divisions will start manning the sanctuary from the eve of the festival,” Dalma DFO.

According to him, deputy commissioners and police superintendent of East Singhbhum and Seraikela-Kharsawan have been informed and requested for deployment of police constables.

Tribals from Jharkhand, Bengal, Odisha and Chhatisgarh descend on Dalma to celebrate the festival. Forest staff will also be deployed at Pardih chowk along as well as Fadlugora the NH 33 to frisk the tribals entering the sanctuary.

Government vets and a doctors will also be available at Makulakocha, the main entry point to the sanctuary, and Pinderbera forest guest house. More than 80 vehicles will be deployed to patrol the 192 sq km sanctuary, said Dalma range officer.

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