The Forest Department has planned to monitor the Sundarbans, the world’s largest mangrove forest and a Unesco world heritage site, with drones to check crimes like poaching of tiger and deer.
It is also considering erecting net-fence around the forest to prevent intrusion of tigers into the localities.
The move comes after the Indian forest department has succeeded in checking such crimes and tiger attacks following the implementation of two initiatives on its part of the forest.
Habibun Nahar, deputy minister for environment, forest and climate change, has recently said all kinds of measures will be taken to beef up security in the coastal region, including the Sundarbans, by using modern technology.
Local forest office sources said various crimes, including felling of trees, catching fish defying ban, and the poaching of tiger and deer are going on in the Sundarbans.
Besides, there is a huge presence of robbers in and around the forest.
To check such crimes, the Forest Department is planning to deploy drones, said Amir Hossain Chowdhury, deputy chief conservator of forests. “Drones will play an effective role in checking illegal intrusion into the Sundarbans, poaching and robberies, and identifying those who fish illegally in the forest.”
According to the Forest Department data, 14 tigers were beaten to death by locals after those entered their localities in the last two decades.
Under the circumstances, the move to erect the net-fence around the Sundarbans was taken to prevent the movement of tiger into localities, sources said.
Modinul Ahsan, Khulna divisional forest officer at Wildlife Management and Nature Conservation Division, said they forwarded the project proposal to the government in this regard. “Besides, the issue of monitoring the Sundarbans with modern technology will be in the project.”
Rafiqul Islam Khokon, adviser to the Sundarbans Academy, told UNB that the use of modern technology like drone could save the mangrove forest. “It’s possible to monitor by using drones what happens inside the Sundarbans.”
He added that if the sources of drinkable water and food for tiger could be ensured, they would not come to localities. “And it can be known beforehand through the modern technology whether tigers are entering any locality.”