BHUBANESWAR: In a bid to keep a watch on movement of vehicles inside Satkosia Tiger Reserve, identity cards are being issued to the owners within the sanctuary.
Officials of Mahanadi Wildlife Division with cooperation of locals have initiated the process of issuing identity cards to the vehicles in Satkosia Gorge Sanctuary and Baisipalli Wildlife Sanctuary areas. About 130 three-wheelers and four-wheelers, including auto-rickshaws and tractors, have been enrolled so far.
“The identity cards and passes will help us identify the vehicles coming from outside and also prevent wildlife smuggling,” said Mahanadi Wildlife Division DFO Anshu Pragyan Das.
A team of officials of the division had intercepted Shamsuddin Khan, who was into smuggling of wildlife articles for more than 20 years, on June 18 last year. He was travelling in a bus and was in possession of smuggled pangolin scales.
Taking the locals into confidence, the division has set up five manned and unmanned check gates in the last three years to curb entry of suspicious vehicles into the wildlife area. All the security check points are solar connected and are under 24x7 CCTV surveillance. This apart, the division has successfully created ‘core within core’ or ‘no-go’ area covering 100 sq km to facilitate free movement of the animals in the region and thereby creating a space for their breeding.
Satkosia officials said out of five, three check gates have been set up in ‘no-go’ area to keep the region safe and check violations.
The authorities had a tough time to convince the residents of the tiger reserve to set up three check gates in the ‘no-go’ area for which two forest roads were closed and alternative routes created for the villagers. Once all the vehicles are enrolled, they can be used for departmental works and also be a support for the tourists visiting the eco-tourism destinations within the sanctuary, the officials said.