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Wildlife Crime Bureau on cards to check forestry crimes

Written by: Staff
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Chandigarh, Apr 25 (UNI) The Union Ministry of Environment and Forests will soon have a 'Wildlife Crime Bureau' to check the menace of poaching and illegal felling of trees for wood across the country.

The Prime Minister has given the nod for the Wildlife Crime Bureau which would be instituted very soon, Additional Director General of Wildlife R P S Katwal told UNI on the sidelines of the National Seminar on 'Trees Outside Forests' (TOF) here today.

The proposed Bureau would mainly function as an intelligence network to check various crimes in the country's forests like poaching of the endangered species, illegal felling of trees and illegal occupation of the forest lands, Mr Katwal said.

He said there was another proposal to set up an Eco Task Force, involving retired Army personnel, to check forestry crimes.

Small bureaux on the lines of the upcoming Wildlife Crime Bureau in Delhi would also be formed in every state, he added.

Additional Director General of Forests G K Prasad, who was also present at the national seminar, said that the government would come out with the fresh survey figures of the tiger count in June this year, pointing out that there were presently 3,642 tigers in the country as per the survey report of the year 2001.

He specifically stated that the Sariska National Park in Rajasthan had no tigers.

''The growth of village and tribal population within the forests was a big threat to the preservance of the forests and the wild life and this was the basic reason that the tigers had vanished from Sariska,'' he said.

He said there were 327 villages in Sariska out of which eleven existed in the core of the forests there.

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