*Best village to get first prize of Rs 51,000/-
The management of Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR) has organised a competition among the villages of buffer area of the reserve for prevention and control of forest fires during summer months.
Most of the forest fires being man-made, it is imperative to involve the people from 45 villages falling within buffer zone. To create a sense of ownership and responsibility, the competition of all the villages is being organised for their holistic approach towards abstaining from causing fires and their support to Forest Department in preventing and checking them.
Dr Prabhu Nath Shukla, Deputy Director, said on Tuesday that the programme would start from March 1 and continue till May 31. An evaluation committee consisting of Girish Vashishstha, retd DFO, Mandar Pingle from Satpuda Foundation and Vijay Suryavanshi, Range Forest Officer, Special Tiger Protection force (STPF) will assess the performance of the villages wtih verifying fortnight reports from all the villages. They can score points on formation/performance of local youths team in fire prevention and control, farmers not burning fire in their fields, no use of fire in tendu and mahua collection, use of net for mahua collection, avoiding grazing in forest land, developing fodder bank, numbers of meetings of Eco-Development Committees, gram panchayats and using other innovative methods, he added.
Best performing three villages will get prizes of Rs 51,000/-, Rs 31,000/- and Rs 21,000/-. Prize money and certificates would be given to respective Sarpanchs at the hands of Dr Nitin Raut, Guardian Minister for Nagpur district on June 5 – The Environment Day.
To create an awareness about competition, two meetings of Sarpanchs, EDC Presidents and evaluation committee was held on Monday at Surewani and on Tuesday at Sillari, Dr Shukla said.