After the recent bird-poaching case at the Nal Sarovar Bird Sanctuary,the forest department has scheduled arms-training programme for the forest personnel here in the first week of May. The personnel will receive training from the Surendranagar police.
Nal Sarovar is Gujarats only Ramsar site. Ramsar sites are wetlands of international importance,designated under the Ramsar Convention,an international agreement signed in Ramsar (Iran) in 1971,which provides for the conservation and good use of wetlands.
The watchmen carry knives,foresters and beat-guards carry 12-bore guns and range officers carry revolvers. But we want to train them to use these weapons, said S Sasikumar,Deputy Conservator of Forests at Nal Sarovar.
Meanwhile,the 120-sq-km sanctuary has been allotted six new foresters from neighbouring divisions to supplement the two foresters and two beat-guards already posted there. The division has also been permitted to hire another vehicle. As of now,just one official vehicle was allotted for officers there.
A proposal to install heat-sensitive cameras in three villages to monitor any future poaching cases has also been submitted to the headquarters in Gandhinagar.
State plans AC tents for tourists
The state tourism department is planning to erect 500 air-conditioned (AC) tents in top 10 tourist destinations in view of the rising number of visitors. The state attracted 22.3 million tourists during 2011-12 and is expecting a 15 per cent increase in tourist arrivals this year.
Though a list of these spots has not been finalised,destinations like Gir,Saputara,Madhupura,Mandvi and pilgrim towns like Ambaji would likely be in the list,sources said. We are still in the process of finalising the spots for installation of the tents, said Nirav Munshi,manager of Hotel,Tours and Travels at Tourism Corporation of Gujarat Ltd.