Hyderabad: The state forest department has declared an area of 1,175 sq km around the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve (NSTR) as a buffer zone. The declaration came after the department conducted a three-month-long survey of villages in and around the tiger reserve. The department will submit a report to the central government in a week’s time.
The Supreme Court had ordered all state forest departments on April 4 to declare buffer zones around tiger reserves and submit a report to it before July 4. “Following the order, we conducted gram sabhas in the villages, but could not complete it before the scheduled time due to remoteness of the villages,” said SV Kumar, principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) and chief wildlife warden. The apex court on Tuesday extended the deadline by two weeks. “We have completed the project and are preparing a report. We will submit the report to the central government in a week,” Kumar said.
The buffer zones around tiger habitats are meant to provide supplementary habitats for the felines. Under section 38(b) of the wildlife (protection) act, 1972, the state have to notify the core and buffer areas of tiger reserve in its respective jurisdiction for effective conservation of endangered species, and to arrange security at buffer areas as they are between a reserve’s core area and human habitation, chief conservator of forests (Project Tiger) AK Naik said. “We also made sure that there are no hotels, commercial tourism activities in buffer, core area of tiger habitats in the tiger reserve, “ he added.
The state has declared an area of 1,175 sq km around the Nagarjunasagar Srisailam Tiger Reserve as a buffer zone.