The Maharashtra government’s ‘Vision 2030 document’ is planning to implement ‘e-eye surveillance’ project to track the movement of wild animals 24×7. The policy document, which is yet to be released by the government, also seeks to rehabilitate more villages out of the protected areas to reduce man-animal conflicts. It lays emphasis on the use of suitable devices that can act as deterrent to animals, encouraging land owners to go for solar fencing and establishment of quick response teams.
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The document envisages identification of new potential sites and declaration of new protected areas and conservation reserves. The government plans to set up special tiger protection force in tiger reserves in the state. At present, there are six national parks, 48 wildlife sanctuaries and four conservation reserves in the state.
The policy intends to bring in scientific management of protected areas and forests. Satellite imagery data will be used to remove illegal encroachments in forest areas. Besides this, plans will be prepared for improving facilities under sanctuaries and tiger reserves as per international level.
Geographical Information System (GIS) and Management Information System (MIS) technology will be integrated with the Maharashtra Remote Sensing Application Center (MRSAC) to assess district wise changes in the forest cover.
The document lays stress on increasing the forest cover in Marathwada, which had been reeling under acute water scarcity for the last four years. In order to protect the endangered and other vulnerable plant species, the number of preservation plots are to be increased, the document says, adding, “Special recovery programmes will be implemented for endangered plants and animals”.