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Old 13th June 2009, 20:27   #46
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Thumbs up Interesting thread!

@fazalaliadil; this is a very interesting thread indeed and from a mere travelogue, it is growing into an awareness platform for many of us.

To add my two cents into the discussion; Apart from the fact that reckless grazing of domestic cattle in forest land causes major damage to the natural food chain of the area, there is also another danger in the form of transmission of various cattle borne diseases to the wild animals.

I remember reading somewhere that foot & mouth disease (FMD) is often spread by domestic cattle, which act as vectors carrying the infection. While the domestic cattle can be vaccinated / treated, wild-animals may have a higher mortality rate.

Keep up the good work with this thread...
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Old 13th June 2009, 20:33   #47
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thats a great travelouge you have put up Fazal bhai.

And you got me excited about this place

Was all the while looking for Getaway places around hyderabad... and the only places i got was nagarjuna sagar and srisailam.

But this looks better.Can you share details like
-route details and distance from hyd
-Any photos of the suites( and are campfires allowed there.. importantly is alcohol allowed?)
-any activity/places you would recommend to visit there?

only these queries for now
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Old 13th June 2009, 20:34   #48
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Originally Posted by hotstuff View Post
@fazalaliadil; this is a very interesting thread indeed and from a mere travelogue, it is growing into an awareness platform for many of us.

To add my two cents into the discussion; Apart from the fact that reckless grazing of domestic cattle in forest land causes major damage to the natural food chain of the area, there is also another danger in the form of transmission of various cattle borne diseases to the wild animals.

I remember reading somewhere that foot & mouth disease (FMD) is often spread by domestic cattle, which act as vectors carrying the infection. While the domestic cattle can be vaccinated / treated, wild-animals may have a higher mortality rate.

Keep up the good work with this thread...
Hotstuff,
Thanks, Yes the foot and mouth and the blue tongue disease are big time fatal and like you rightly pointed out they can be controlled by vacinating domestic livestock, but it is impossible to do the same to wildlife which are not in captivity like a zoo.
Regards,
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Old 13th June 2009, 20:59   #49
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Originally Posted by katpasin View Post
thats a great travelouge you have put up Fazal bhai.

And you got me excited about this place

Was all the while looking for Getaway places around hyderabad... and the only places i got was nagarjuna sagar and srisailam.

But this looks better.Can you share details like
-route details and distance from hyd
-Any photos of the suites( and are campfires allowed there.. importantly is alcohol allowed?)
-any activity/places you would recommend to visit there?

only these queries for now
Katpasin,

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travel...ures-only.html (Hyderabad - Srisailam - Dornala - Kurnool. Road pictures only)

The writeup and pics. posted by me on this thread started by IndianNomad, will give you enough info on the distance and all you need to know, Srisailam and the reserve forest NSTR are one and the same.
Campfires: no.
Alcohol: In your private quarters, you can be possibly booked elsewhere.
Places to visit: Farahabad view point, Srisailam temple, Maleela Theertam, Paatal Ganga (by cable car) and everywhere esle your eye can see.
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Old 13th June 2009, 22:51   #50
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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
There are many rough patches Devidas and I go through in Srisailam, the forest guys are on high alert when we are there and monitor our movement, even follow us after half an hour

whats the reason behind this fazal saab? and are you part of any ngo currently?
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Old 14th June 2009, 11:12   #51
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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil
There are many rough patches Devidas and I go through in Srisailam, the forest guys are on high alert when we are there and monitor our movement, even follow us after half an hour
Quote:
Originally Posted by aadix View Post
whats the reason behind this fazal saab? and are you part of any ngo currently?
Document: Nallamalla tiger on the brink of extintion.doc

Aadix Saab,

The guilty are afraid. There is much for the department guys to keep under wraps on all front , form their exaggerated count of tiger population in the latest 08-09 census, Obselete tiger tracking method, misappropriation of funds, Cattle grazing, Tree felling by locals etc.
It is mismanagement en masse.
I have brought to the attention of the press, the R&B's intentions to convert the present highway cutting through the reserve into a four lane highway (reason: Chennai would be 70 plus kilometers shorter through this route from Hyderabad).This would spell doom for the already dying Nallamalla.
Also authored an article for the press citing the reasons why and how the tiger is endangered more than elsewhere, in this reserve and on what fronts is the government failing etc. (read above attached document).
This kind of reporting is most unwelcome by the authorities there, our press ahould have been doing some investegative reporting here, but their proirities are elsewhere.
Why is not eco-tourism allowed here?
Why dont they give official permission to photograph the tiger?
Why are tourist discouraged?
I had suggested, controlled wildlife tourism would generate revenue citiing examples of the rest of the sanctuaries/ reserves/ parks in the country and Africa, where the wildlife-tourist relationship has generated millions of dollars per anum. The reply I got from one senior officer, "We dont want the Srisailam tiger to be photographed neither are we interested in encouraging photography or tourist here!".
Their belligerent attitude is boundless.
WHY?

As for your question I work as an individual.
Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 14th June 2009 at 11:21.
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Old 14th June 2009, 18:52   #52
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Default Its Official : No more Tigers in Panna

Bit OT but read this morning in TOI online edition.
It's official: Panna reserve has no tiger - Flora & Fauna - Earth - Health & Science - The Times of India

Most other Tiger Reserves are headed that way if steps are not taken in time.
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Old 14th June 2009, 20:42   #53
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Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Bit OT but read this morning in TOI online edition.
It's official: Panna reserve has no tiger - Flora & Fauna - Earth - Health & Science - The Times of India

Most other Tiger Reserves are headed that way if steps are not taken in time.
Times of India, June 14, 2009 (today)

Quote 1:
Panna Tiger Reserve:
Official Tiger population 2003: 40
Official Tiger population today: 0

Quote 2:
"The latest investigation is in sharp contrast with a report published in June 2008 of an environment magazine where the State Principal consevator of forests (PCCF) H S Pabla had claimed that Panna is flourishing with Tigers."
Imagine the PCCF under whose jurisdiction falls the entire forests of a MP state and the entire IFS cadre at his disposal could be this misinformed?
From flourish to vanish in exactly a year???

Quote 3:
"The Chief Minister Mr. Rajendra Shukla admitted that the count in Panna was zero. The state government, he said has formed a commitee to fix responsibility for the disappearance of the Tiger."
Did he have any other choice? State comitee, are they equipped to carry out an investigation when most of them have never stepped into a forest? What and how will they fix responsibilities and how will it help now?


This is no suprise, It was out long back but the press reported this today. It is not that 40 Tigers have been decimated in three years, the fact is that the annual Tiger census in all reserves are fudged and extremely exaggerated, so is the case of Panna which did not have the said numbers in 2003 at all ( a la Sariska).


This is the direction Srisailam is heading at a breakneck speed and all other reserves in India. The forest department from the lowest rung to the highest cadre, are hand in glove with eachother.


Quote, from this thread 1:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil (Weekend getaway in a forest)
as if it was the forest staff was responsible for the two tigeress getting pregnant.

replied, Cougar
"ok. just to clarify: i know the case in question quite intimately becoz i am in some ways involved and i must say that the forest staff at Sariska deserve a lot more credit and appreciation than what they got! the forest staff in many cases are the real stars: underpaid overworked and mostly end up getting blamed for everything that goes wrong! will discuss offline in detail."
________________
Sir,
I too, like you would like to praise the staff in any sanctuary or reserve, how can I when I see what is happening and who is responsible, when the staff controls the forest who should be held responsible when things go wrong, this magnitude?

Quote,from this thread 2:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil
There are many rough patches Devidas and I go through in Srisailam, the forest guys are on high alert when we are there and monitor our movement, even follow us after half an hour
replied, aadix
whats the reason behind this fazal saab? and are you part of any ngo currently?
__________________
Sir, now you know why?

It will not be long when we get the same report from NSTR.

For a detailed report on Panna, check the link posted by MileCruncher.

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 14th June 2009 at 20:45.
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Old 15th June 2009, 11:06   #54
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Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Why? Credit for the present Sariska or the past debacle there?
There is a background to the what happened in Sariska and what is happening in Panna and other forests. Blaming the forest staff is not only innacurate but also pointless because eventually you need the forest staff to get anything done. Unles syou suggest we disband the forest service! The forest staff at Sariska were earlier constrained by govt orders not to act against poachers who came from a community which traditionally voted for them. Govt staff can only work if they have the freedom to work: free of political pressures.

The first and foremost problem is politics: the previous govt in rajasthan was led by someone whose attitude to forests and jungles betrayed her royal lineage. It was under her governance thatforests in rajasthan started losing tigers at such frightening speed. Its not just Sariska: our studies found atleast 16 tigers missing even from ranthambore, other NGO's claim a bigger figure. Things have certainly improved with the change of govt in Rajasthan as the new govt is more friendly towards NGO's like ours and gives the forest department more leeway to act against poachers.

The same thing is happening in Panna: and part of the reason is that some political parties are playing votebank politics with Tribals encouraging tribals to move into forests: we see this disturbing trend in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and now Karnatka as well. in karnataka the issue is further complicated with the involvement of local mining and timber lobbies.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
You would possibily change you opinion if you interact with the forest staff here in A.P.
I have! I paid a visit to the Adilabad and Kawal forest divisions last year primarily because that part of AP could forms a vital part of the growth path for tigers in the Chandrapur belt.
Forest officers in Maharashtra have particularly unkind things to say about AP forest staff. Some of it could be put down to inter-dept rivalries but the number of timber-laden trucks I counted at the Adilabad check naka illegally carrying out timber doesnt give people a lot of confidence in the AP Forest dept. And my complaint to the forest staff about the timber trucks only resulted in my Gypsy being strip searched at the AP border!


Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
Apart from this, I have made a detailed report to the PCCF here, reffering to greviances like, understaffed, underpaid, lack of incentives, lack of communication systems, no vehicles to transport them into the forest, food to be supplied to staff in field.
There are 300 plus vacancies the higher ups have not bothered yet to fill and that extra burden falls on the present staff.
These are problems found in every state of the country. But this is no excuse for underperformance. The relatively good record of states like Maharashtra and Uttarakhand, where similar problems exist shows that forest staff can get their work done.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazalaliadil View Post
I still retriate, It is the grassroot staff to the top most who should be held responsible in case of any mismanagement.
Heres how it works: the forest staff can detain people but have no powers to arrest. They hand over the people to the police who may or may not act depending on the situation. This was what was happening in Rajsthan in both Sariska and Ranthambore. Can you really blame them?

Contrast that with the situation in Maharashtra. The forest staff in a certain forest in Chandrapur area caught some MLA's hunting deer and boar in the forest during the last winter session which is held in Nagpur. They were caught red-handed and barred from entry in the forest. Cases were filed etc and action was taken. The staff in question could put up such a strong front only because they had a forest minister who they knew would stand strongly behind them. THAT is the key.

Last edited by COUGAR : 15th June 2009 at 11:10.
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Old 15th June 2009, 11:25   #55
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Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
Contrast that with the situation in Maharashtra. The staff in question could put up such a strong front only because they had a forest minister who they knew would stand strongly behind them. THAT is the key.
With respect to my earlier post about mayureshwar sanctuary,
i must admit that there are some forest officers who knows their duty very well.
But...politicians play vital role. They act as key where there is political gain to them. As you mentioned about strong forest minister, where was this man when his other colleague caught in poaching in this area. The forest minister himself is good man. He is vaarkari. But, In the house, forest minister had given clean chit to this poacher minister but public outcry forced the system to take action.

BTW, @COUGAR, it seems that you are associated with NGO. It will be great if we like minded people do something about our nature.

Last edited by ASHISHPALLOD : 15th June 2009 at 11:42.
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Old 15th June 2009, 12:05   #56
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Dear Cougar,

I very sincerely thank you for finding time to reply to my postings and the effort in pinpointing the exact reasons related to.

Let it be be clear that I am not refuting or contradicting what you are stating.
It evident that the lower rung guys in the department heirachy are victims when the axe falls, while the higher ups pull some string to get away.

The case you have pointed out, the MLA hunt in Maharashtra, how many cases have we read about a VIP getting caught and booked even if it an opposition member, leave also a ruling party member?

This is a rare one and pray India has such dedicated forest ministers as in the above case. Yes that does give muscle and teeth to the honest forest staff, which they need.
What I want to put across is, what when the forest staff themselves are corrupt and negligent? an example (your mention at Adilabad check naka and their consequent reaction of your enquiry).

Cougar, Cases like this are rampant this side of the country, NSTR had unlimmited teak , now you can find (very rare) pugmarks easier than teak in this reserve. There are one or two DFO's in this reserve who are dedicated, but have to tow the line of their superiors when it comes to the fudged census reports, sheep/ cattle grazing, timber/ bamboo smuggling etc.

Yes, I agree politicans are the ones who are interested in their vote bank and stop the forest department from carrying out their duties to a enormous extent.

The Adilabd check naka, trend is something very fimiliar to us at Mannanur and other check posts here.

originally posted by ASHISHPALLOD
BTW, @COUGAR, it seems that you are associated with NGO. It will be great if we like minded people do something about our nature.

It is long overdue, count me in if this association materializes
__________________



Regards,

Last edited by fazalaliadil : 15th June 2009 at 12:23. Reason: additions
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Old 15th June 2009, 12:30   #57
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This discussion is going way off-topic, but it is atleast going in the right direction

Quote:
Originally Posted by COUGAR View Post
There is a background to the what happened in Sariska and what is happening in Panna and other forests. Blaming the forest staff is not only innacurate but also pointless because eventually you need the forest staff to get anything done. Unles syou suggest we disband the forest service! The forest staff at Sariska were earlier constrained by govt orders not to act against poachers who came from a community which traditionally voted for them. Govt staff can only work if they have the freedom to work: free of political pressures.

The same thing is happening in Panna: and part of the reason is that some political parties are playing votebank politics with Tribals encouraging tribals to move into forests: we see this disturbing trend in Madhya Pradesh, Chattisgarh and now Karnatka as well. in karnataka the issue is further complicated with the involvement of local mining and timber lobbies.

Heres how it works: the forest staff can detain people but have no powers to arrest. They hand over the people to the police who may or may not act depending on the situation. This was what was happening in Rajsthan in both Sariska and Ranthambore. Can you really blame them?
I believe no government in India has a working wildlife policy. When this is the case, how can you expect any progress in these issues. I pity the forest department.

Firstly, they are grossly understaffed and under equipped. They do not have proper gear to move around in the forests.
Secondly, most of the staff are under daily wages and even that is not being paid to them for months together.

If this the case, how do they sustain their families? It is obvious that they will involve themselves in poaching or in helping poachers to earn some money. If the department pays the salaries, maybe the staff will be less tempted to help poachers. Most of the field staff are tribals and have good knowledge of the forests. It is upto the department to use their knowledge and manage the forests effectively.

Do animals have voting rights? No, they don't. Then how can we expect any politician to take a step towards wildlife preservation. Even if we have dedicated officials, they will be forced to work according to the ruling govt's wishes.

Recently, the highway between Gundlupet & Gudalur and Gundlupet & Sultan Bathery was closed down at night. But, it was withdrawn even before the order was executed . I think this was because of the private bus lobby. These private buses never slow down either in the forest or in other roads.

When this is the case, how do you expect conservation? These two highways have very high traffic and it is very detrimental for the wildlife in the area. Most of the animals will be cut off from different areas of the forest.

I don't know where we are heading with this kind of attitude towards nature.

When the wildlife is forced to make compromises, why can't we?????

Last edited by addyhemmige : 15th June 2009 at 12:44.
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Old 15th June 2009, 12:46   #58
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This discussion is going way off-topic, but it is atleast going in the right direction



I believe no government in India has a working wildlife policy. When this is the case, how can you expect any progress in these issues. I pity the forest department.

Firstly, they are grossly understaffed and under equipped. They do not have proper gear to move around in the forests.
Secondly, most of the staff are under daily wages and even that is not being paid to them for months together.

If this the case, how do they sustain their families? It is obvious that they will involve themselves in poaching or in helping poachers to earn some money. If the department pays the salaries, maybe the staff will be less tempted to help poachers. Most of the field staff are tribals and have good knowledge of the forests. It is upto the department to use their knowledge and manage the forests effectively.
addyhemmige,
It has gone off topic 3 pages back, but has turned into a common platform with very important inputs such as yours which are ground realities.
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Old 20th July 2009, 11:41   #59
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Fazal

Thanks for raising so many of the issues that concern wildlife conservation. Srisailam is very dear to me and I visit the place as often as possible

During my visits everytime I drove through the forest area I noticed a lot of litter.

As a small personal initiative I had 3000 paper bags made with some simple do's and don'ts printed in english and telugu. The idea found an instant response from the forest officials and we introduced the bags at the check points charging vehicles Rs2 with a request to drop litter at the end of the journey at the exit check point.

The forest department ordered a further 5000 bags as the initial lot got used up. The idea was to create some livelihood for the tribals too by way of bag making etc.

The forest department recognises the harm done on account of indiscriminate littering that takes place. As part of their plan to curtail this menace a rest area was created just before Farahabad junction. The idea is that travellers stop only at designated spots.

There is a need for more signage and awareness creation amongst travellers to avoid littering the place.

The issue of cattle is huge. The govt's forest protection plan calls for relocation of tribals from core areas, biogas plants to reduce dependence on wood and promotion of eco tourism to provide livelihood to tribals.

Mr. Shankaran the DFO based at Achampet is a fine person and most cooperative for any initiative anyone wishes to take. I would be happy to introduce you to him.

He is anything but callous about the issues that the forest faces.

Here in India wildlife conservation is forever a losing battle. The government is well intentioned but in execution things get diluted. Corporates simply have chosen not to be bothered about this aspect of the environment and its sad that no corporate in Hyderabad has stepped forward to adopt the reserve and help out.

You need more vehicles for patrolling, state of the art communication equipment. Funds for several independent projects NGO's/Corporates can take up need to be mobilised.

In summary a lot can be done. Ofcourse in every department you have corrupt officials colluding with the crooks to loot our heritage. But you also have dedicated staff who are silently doing their bit. Whether they are effective eventually is affected by a number of issues.

There is constant pressure on the forest department to keep the roads open later in the evening and open earlier in the morning. The vote bank means villagers' are allowed to exploit the forests. Finding alternative employment or improved animal husbandry is a mammoth exercise.

As individuals if we can mobilise funds and take initiatives I can only say that the forest department will cooperate. The few good men in the department may be fighting a losing battle but they are still at it, not giving up. If NGO's/Corporates can pitch in I see no reason why the lovely forests of Srisailam need to be doomed forever.

Last edited by DKG : 20th July 2009 at 11:48.
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Old 20th July 2009, 12:02   #60
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As a small personal initiative I had 3000 paper bags made with some simple do's and don'ts printed in english and telugu. The idea found an instant response from the forest officials and we introduced the bags at the check points charging vehicles Rs2 with a request to drop litter at the end of the journey at the exit check point.
@DKG,

That is nice idea of paper bags for litter.
It can be implemented at all parks.
I am also interested to know what the forest officers do with that bags with litter? where do they dump it?
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