Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Rubble fences to replace barbed wire.

AHMEDABAD: The forest department, taking the death of a lioness in Una range seriously, has plans to propose a ban on the use of barbed wire fencing in and around the Gir National Park. The department is planning to propose rubble fences in the periphery of Gir Sanctuary and also in the corridor which has lion movement.
A senior forest department official further said the department will also propose that the government give farmers a subsidy to replace barbed-wire fence.
Since October 2007, over eight lions have been killed in incidents of electrocution. The incident at Una was the second such occurrence in G this year.
Chief conservator of forests R Meena said, "The government gives a subsidy for construction of barbed wire fencing in the state. Hence, at least in Gir region, we will propose a shift to construction of rubble fencing."
He said that the matter will be proposed to the government keeping in view the incidents of electrocution.
The department along with the police and the electricity department officials have been carrying out regular search and raids. "Recently, a farmer was fined of Rs 50,000 by the forest department after officials found a live electric wire connected to his fence," said Meena.
The electricity department has also ensured that if a farmer is caught indulging in this dangerous practice, he will not be given an electricity connection any further.
A senior official of the forest department said that the modus operandi was simple. Unscrupulous farmers connect the barbed-wire fencing around their farms with high tension wires passing over his field or with the power connection given to draw water from his bore well. The naked wire would then be left on the barbed-wire fence to create the impression that the wire was left there by accident.
The department said that this was done to keep away Neelgai. But lions fall victims to such live wires. Forest officials said rubble fences would be the way to ensure this practice doesn't continue.


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