Chamarajanagara: The Bandipura Tiger Reserve (BTR), one of the reserves that has largest density of wild animals has no director since last two months.
The national park houses more than 2000 elephants, 188 tigers, and 300 plus leopards in an area of 1024 square kilometrse. The park also has precious tree wealth and various wildlives.
After the transfer of Conservator of Forests and Director of BTR S. R. Natesh in the month of November last the Forest Department has not yet appointed Director yet Now Mysuru DCF Karikalan is acting In-Charge Director of BTR.
If other posts were lying vacant under Forest Department would not have hampered the official work. But in national parks, particularly, during summer it is very challenging for directors of parks. Since they always are alert and keep their force on high alert owing to forest fire.
In the year 2019, a large majority of wildlife and forest became the victims of wildfire. During February to April, the leaves on the trees drop. The dried leaves are more dangerous as even a small spark or thrown match stick, accidentally, can cause damage worth crores.
Karnataka Wildlife Board Former Member Joseph Hoover told News Karnataka that the State Government should appoint the Director immediately to protect the national park. He said normally the department appoints IFS cadre officers to the post. But if the Government appoints Northern State origin IFS officers, it would only hinder efficiency as they have no knowledge about locals, culture, tradition etc. The villagers, and tribals staying beside park play vital role in protecting the forest. The Government should appoint Karnataka-origin officer to have greater coordination with locals for protecting the forest, he added.
According to sources from inside the department, the Director’s post of BTR is most sought-after, and it has been witnessed officers lobbying to get the post. But Babus have to finally decide on the officer, and hence it is being delayed, the source added.