MYSURU: At a time when forest officials of the Bandipur Tiger Reserve are under fire for not acting against those who held a feast inside the tiger reserve last month, another incident of callousness has been reported. This time tractors were found moving inside the tiger reserve leaving the wildlife activists fuming.
A video of a tractor carrying several people inside the Bandipur Tiger Reserve patrolling road (safari track) alleged to have been occurred two days back has gone viral.
According to sources, the forest department itself had allowed these people to visit the Hallali Maramma temple under the Maddur range in the tiger reserve. As the forest minister has considered Bandipur Tiger Reserve a critical tiger habitat, allowing tractors inside the forest area with people is a gross violation to the guidelines, said a wildlife activist. Taking to Facebook, wildlife activist and member of Karnataka Wildlife Board Joseph Hoover said tractors have made a mess of the tracks which are regularly used by forest staff for patrolling.
He suggested that Chief Minister Basavaraj Bommai, who is also the chairman of the State Board of Wildlife, should direct officials to look into the happenings in Bandipur. Suggestions have poured in to make arrangements for devotees in the forest department vehicles similar to how it is done at Goplaswamy Hills, which would put an end to this practice which might lead to any untoward incidents. A senior forest official from the BTR, on condition of anonymity, said they have taken the issue seriously and have also been brought it to the notice of higher-ups.