The formalities in connection with the setting up of two community reserves were being completed and it was expected that the Punjab government would issue a notification shortly, the DFO said
Tribune News Service
Abohar, December 27
Taking a major initiative, the Punjab government has decided to set up two community reserves in this sub-division for the protection and conservation of blackbucks, blue bulls and sambar, who roam in those villages, which are located outside the open sanctuary area spread over 13 villages.
Official sources said necessary formalities in connection with the setting up of two community reserves were being completed and it was expected that the Punjab government would issue a notification in this connection shortly.
This sub-division is known for its open blackbuck sanctuary in the world as it is the first of its kind, which has come up on private land. The sanctuary, which is spread over an area of 180.5 square kilometres and comprising 13 villages, is housing thousands of blackbucks, blue bulls (Neel Gai) and sambar. The members of the Bishnoi community, whose population dominated these 13 villages, take keen interest in protection of the wild animals.
Official sources said one community reserve would be set up in Gumjal and Panniwala villages and the second reserve would be set up in Haripura and Diwan Khera villages. The area of the first community reserve would be around 7,758 acres and that of the second community reserve would be around 9,103 acres.
Divisional Forest Officer (Wildlife), Ferozepur, Sanjeev Tiwari said the consent of panchayats of these villages in connection with the setting up of the community reserve had been taken. The paper work was being completed and hence the notification by the Punjab government in connection with it could take place anytime.
He said the land, where the community reserve would be set up, would remain in the ownership of respective owners. The wildlife department would deploy its employees in these community reserves for the protection and conservation of blackbuck, blue bull and sambar. The help of residents of these villages would also be taken in conservation of these protected animals.
He said these villages could not be included in the sanctuary area as these were located far away from it. Tiwari said a corridor between the sanctuary and these community reserves could be developed after a few years.