Goa to step up forest patrol with GPS

Friday, February 25, 2011

PANAJI - Forest guards in Goa’s four wildlife sanctuaries will soon be equipped with global positioning system (GPS) to step up patrolling, a senior official said Friday.

“Forest guards and officials posted in the sanctuaries will soon be given GPS equipment, so that they not only know which part of the sanctuary they are in, but the range office will also know their whereabouts. This way patrolling can be made more efficient and clinical,” the official told reporters at the forest department headquarters in Panaji.

He said the department had sourced funds to the tune of Rs.12.10 crore from Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA).

He added that a batch of 10 jeeps would also be utilised in the sanctuaries.

Goa has four wildlife sanctuaries — namely Bhagwaan Mahaveer, Cotigao, Mhadei and Netravali — in its hinterland bordering Maharashtra and Karnataka.

A recent incident in which a tiger was poached in the Mhadei wildlife sanctuary raised the bogey of rampant poaching in Goa’s forests, especially hunting of wild boar, barking deer, and chital (spotted deer) for their meat which is sold on-the-sly in several eateries across the state.

The official said that in deeper forest areas, with absolutely zero coverage and several blind spots, the department was enhancing its communications capabilities by adding to the existing wireless network in the green zones.

“There are some difficulties as there is no mobile range in the state’s rural and forested areas. Wireless handsets will come handy in such situations,” the official said.

Filed under: Environment

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