Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Save Foresters, Save Forests!

 







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It is the duty of a good shepherd to shear his sheep, not to skin them... Tiberius

When work is a pleasure, life is a joy! When work is a duty, life is slavery... Maxim Gorky

Tiberius Caesar Augustus was the second Roman emperor, reigning from AD 14 to 37. He succeeded his stepfather, Augustus. Tiberius was one of Rome's greatest generals: his conquests of Pannonia, Dalmatia, Raetia, and parts of Germania laid the foundations for the northern frontier.  And Alexei Maximovich Peshkov, primarily known as Maxim Gorky, was a Russian and Soviet writer, a founder of the socialist realism literary method, and a political activist. He was also a five-time nominee for the Nobel Prize in Literature. While most people (those who read) knows about Gorky  but very less is known about names like Tiberius & its personalities like him the Greek dared to conquer half the world in the era when communication was only in the means of face to face or written form! I deliberately chose above two quotes for the sharing as they represent two sides of the duty i.e. one side is of the men & women who takes on the duty whom we call as army or team or front line & other side is the men & women who are supposed to supervise (or are responsible) the duty of the earlier category men & women which we call as Generals in the Army or say management (in private cos.) or seniors in the govt. And in between these two side lies the cause of the duty which actually is (read as should be) same for both side & it’s here the conflict usually occurs!

Well, I am referring to a recent incidence which has shook both sides of the duty, it’s about a young lady RFO of forest dept (no names I will mention as that’s not the core of the sharing), committing suicide & blaming her senior officers, one in particular of DFO rank in her suicide note as well she has mentioned name of her top boss also for supporting her though not taking any action for her complaints regarding the DFO rank officer whom she mentioned as cause of her such drastic decision! All this is something in news media, I am not creator of any of this, I will be just sharing my views about it, is I will like to clear well in advance. The incidence happened in Melghat forest, in north eastern part of our State & she was posted at Harisal division which is very remote part of the forest. Had it not been social media, the outer world probably have read about the incidence in some news papers inner page news & ignored it as one more suicide but thanks to FB, Insta, twitter & Whatsap the news spread like wild fire & talk of the wild lifers all over the country!

The police took action & the concerned DFO got arrested from Nagpur railway station & the Field Director of Melghat forest, first transferred & then with the political pressure from running MP & MLA of the locality i.e. Amraoti constituency is suspended till further inquiry! I happen to know all three names & many senior as well middle order forest officers in the State as well recently I have visited Melghat forest for our wild life support drive via Jungle Belles, as organization for women awareness about wild life, so thought its high time to make people know about the other side of forests as well foresters i.e. forest dept as going through the comments on social media as well news media as usual one party is painted black & other white & both parties gets respective colours depending up on the person colouring them! When I say other side of the foresters that doesn’t mean any gossip or dark or secret but just the administrative aspect of the service as well the condition in which most of the forest staff (seniors & juniors both) has to work & then you can make your opinion! As not many knows about this khaki wearing people because seldom they work amongst or along our urban life as well most people sitting in their homes uploading images of wild life on their Insta or FB or Flicker doesn’t even knows difference between an RFO & DFO, yet they think they knows forests!

Friends, I always say forest is not just trees, tigers, birds, meadows or big animals but it means people in & around forests too & the khaki wearing foresters are the inseparable part of forests & that’s why when we call ourselves as wild lifer then we must know about them too! First of all let me tell you, like any uniform (that too khaki) wearing duty is in a way paramilitary organization i.e. discipline is the code word of it! When your superior tell anything its always an order & you have to obey it at whatsoever cost is an unwritten rule, just the way it’s in Police dept (another version of khaki). Though unlike Police dept forest dept doesn’t have to run around all the time behind criminals & get to use (read as show or display) their muscle power yet the khaki attitude is very much same that of Police dept! And while the police as well military are trained bit harder way on discipline front & used also in foillo9wing it forest being a semi civil cum uniform dept when it comes to blindly follow or obey the order, it becomes bit difficult to digest for many in the dept. And this happens mostly in the field i.e. in real or says protected forest areas such as project tiger or sanctuary or reserved forests which are like battle fields for wild life!

Now coming to the structure of the forest dept, just like police dept there are two cadres one is direct entry at top level through union public service commission i.e. UPSC by which you become IFS mean Indian Forest Services & can be posted in any State of in the country but affiliated to that respective State’s forest dept. And another entry in forest dept is via MPSC i.e. State Public Commission Service & here also you enter as RFO by which you eventually become ACF i.e. assistant conservator of forest then DCF i.e. deputy conservator of forest & mostly end your service tenure as CCF i.e. chief conservator of forest! But if you join the forest dept through UPSC i.e. by becoming IFS then you start you career as ACF just as probation & becomes DCF or DFO in an year & then you become CCF , APCCF i.e. Additional Principle Chief Conservator of Forests & end up becoming as PCCF i.e. Principle Chief Conservator of Forests which is top post in the organization. And apart from this you can join forest dept as a guard which is lowest rank of the organization & eventually retire as dy. range forest officer which is just one or two step up from guards.

Now you can imagine the complexity of the structure & all above posts are operational on different fronts apart from the usual forests which we knows as project tiger & they are like administrative works, social forestry, territorial forests, conservation, CAMPA (using funds for CSR as well acquisition & rehabilitation of people in & around forests) & many such. Though for obvious reasons postings (duty) at project tigers or sanctuaries remains focus of attraction of all the ranks in the forest dept & reasons are oblivious just the way crime branch is most sought after in police dept! Tiger projects are where actually action related wild life is, is one thing & another is it’s got all the lime light in the entire forest dept because you ask any wild lifer, he or she knows all the tiger projects (forests) in the State but there are many other forests as well habitats & other departmental fronts also in the forests dept which are equally important but it’s not considered as field work so everyone wants to be part of major forests!

Now if you have understood the structure of the forest then lets come to the suicide incidence which we are referring to & which happened in mainstream forests i.e. project tiger that to one of the biggest of the State i.e. Melghat! Well, no limelight comes without the burns & burns does hurt, is something most people forget, as from outside all they can see is limelight of project tiger & the focus it brings along & getting a duty in such place that too like Melghat but that also is not an exception to the law of the limelight! I repeat, I am no judge but to work in the forest as a protector of wild life, that too a forest as vast as Melghat forest is not piece of cake & especially as an RFO which is like major (or main) link between lower ranks & higher ranks of forest dept. And in the field (forests) it’s not just wild animals you have to protect is a problem but you have to protect them from the worst ever animals is a real problem i.e. from humans! So you are painted as an enemy by your own specie as you are representing animals & trees & fighting for them with the humans only which are being represented by more powerful humans i.e. MLAs’ & MPs’ (elected members)! At the same time a place like Harisal which is cut off from all civilized life & family is not something most young officers can stand to, not just a wife & mother of kid, at such place! I think the problem with forest dept is, first they are always less funded especially in giving basic luxuries of the life to their field staffers. And then the younger lot which is educated & join as mid-way post like RFO, doesn’t know about the hardships of the job ahed neither are trained mentally for the same! I am sorry but this is my view because when someone joins Armed Forces, he or she knows that they are going to face death also in the line of the duty & even police life most of us has seen around but this side of forest dept hardly anybody knows & here is where forest dept should improve!  Then there is organizational issues as senior officers are also extremely tense with the media pressure about animals like tiger & its deaths & the pressure is transferred to lower ranks especially RFOs’ is a fact!  This is why, the system ( read as govt) posted an young lady officer (even gents) at such location  like Harisal without any proper senior all time along to guide & support mentally, is something I want to ask the system!

And then with full sympathy to the concerned RFO (and the law), arresting or suspending senior ranks  people (even the Field Director level) over suicide note, are they criminals or murderers as such thing will demoralize entire khaki wearing people, isn’t it? I am not saying who is right & who is wrong but high time to improve the system from top to bottom if we want to save the foresters also, along with the forests till then change the slogan as “Save Foresters, Save Forest”!!

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Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.


Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4xX7eopH5o&t=5s

 

Please do visit my blog links below to read about real estate & home buying! 

https://visonoflife.blogspot.com/2021/01/post-lock-down-real-estate-home-buying.html

http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.com/


Creating Togetherness; team Sanjeevani Way(Click link below) 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/72157627904681345

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org

Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..

https://secure.mygov.in/

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Monday, March 29, 2021

Déjà Vu Disaster !

 









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“Knowledge that can make miracles happen needs to be guarded carefully. If it falls into the wrong hands, miracles become disasters in no time.”...Pawan Mishra

 

Pawan Mishra is an award-winning author, producer, director, and a leader in finance and technology industries. In Jan 2017 Huffington Post listed his novel "Coinman: An Untold Conspiracy" as one of the best independently published fiction books of year 2016. He is one of the leading Indian names on the International horizon of writer’s & no wonder his above words which are linked with age old Hindu Philosophy which as usual has been applauded by the world ( I doubt) but has been turned a blind eye on, by none other than his own fellow countrymen, i.e. India! Because disaster after disasters keeps hitting us & now we are so used to reading, watching & even suffering all the disasters that every day seems like a miracle. I started writing about Uttaranchal land slide or flood whatever you call it disaster (I mean latest one) a place, which is thousands of kilometres away from us & before I could finish it one more disaster happened right under the nose i.e. in our Smart City i.e. Pune & its fire at Fashion Street market, consuming nearly 600 plus shops making thousands of families beggar (once again) by the losses it causes, the only solace was as the fire happened at night there wasn’t human life loss! Couldn’t imagine what it would have been had such fire hit the fashion street on Saturday evening when it’s in full bloom & with Covid scene around!

Déjà Vu Disaster 1

Well already a lot is being written about Kedarnath i.e. Uttaranchal land slide & the flood it got along or vice versa &  as usual there were allegations by everyone against everyone! The govt blames it on nature (best thing, isn’t it), the environmentalists blames it on govt & industries (thankfully no builders up there), the native people around says they have been warning the authorities about such incidence might happen but authorities ignored it (as it is) as well the authorities accuses the natives also for wood cutting & illegal hill cutting to flatten the land for farming & the blame game goes on like “Maza mamamcha patra harawala” (please don’t ask me to translate it, it’s a childhood game)! And the best part is the nature doesn’t blames anybody but it just reacts & it reacts against everyone which comes in its way, may it be humans, cattle or even power plant, washing all of them downstream, together! Again as usual there were news efficient of rescue operation, there was picture of a dog which was waiting for its missing owner at entrance of a flood blocked tunnel & there was news of Hon Supreme Court has taken cognizance of this disaster & ordered a through inquiry for the reasons & till then any river digging in Uttaranchal is banned i.e. for the purposes like sand exploration etc!

Keeping full respect for the men & women who bravely were involved in rescue operations, all I will comment, good, very good, keep on doing all the rituals which now are part of this disaster management! But just like in Bollywood movies the Police always use to come at the end fighting of the movie, the disaster management actions always ends just as post-mortem of the disaster instead preventing the next one, which happens soon & makes us forget earlier disaster!

Déjà Vu Disaster 2

Some three years back there was an article in news-papers about how less equipped & understaffed our Smart City’s fire department is & I really admire the courage (some call it foolishness) of our firemen to fight with not just fire but with floods & many such things with just one stick & hose pipes which seldom carries water! No fireproof outfits, no masks, no well equipped rescue machinery, no instruments like foam cylinders or gas guns nothing & yet there hasn’t been a real disaster (read as life taking) in this city. No wonder the country which runs only behind those who make most publicity of their actions, the fire dept rarely in news despite their herculean work & nobody cares for their infrastructure only when the Déjà Vu disaster happens & which happened in the blaze at Fashion Street! If anyone has visited the place then a person with some common sense can see that it’s a living time bomb, with nearly six hundred stalls cramped in the space which is just enough for one hundred stall & all card board to temporary partitions between the stall which are highly combustible & every sort of goods stuffed in these stalls, all it was needed is just one spark & boom! That happened on last Saturday night (does date matters!) only fortune of the city & citizens & the fire dept was it happened in late night so the market was empty yet the damage will wreck thousands of families backbone by taking away everything they has! Problem is not just of the system or some fire dept but problem is of the city, the people which goes at such places to shop & the traders too, as agreed govt doesn’t cares for your safety but can’t we our own also don’t care for our lives, is the question always haunts me! And the answer is “No”, we the citizens only don’t care for our lives so why blame govt or some fire dept as the city where helmets are to make compulsory to protect citizen’s heads, how can we even dare to think that the very same citizen will care for safety from the disasters like fire! Some years back there was fire in up market of South Mumbai in a posh restaurant & thirty plus lives lost, all from elite class. Immediately I remember every ward office in every city came in action conducting surveys of such establishments & gave notices for conducting fire audit & that’s all! Here at Fashion Street also fire dept has issues notices, warned concerned authorities for fire audits & take safety measure, now whom you will hold responsible & gave stop work, I will love to see that!

Déjà Vu 3; what else but Covid!

This is latest in displaying our attitude towards disaster management as first wave receded & after facing lock down for nearly eight months, we thought we won & Corona is gone & instead being prepared for second wave or any such another pandemic we closed down all the medical facilities, winded up Covid units & started celebrating! And now again the same scene which we faced a year back is looming on our head i.e. head count of patients increasing (faster than first wave) & again we are playing the same tune & people are facing the same fate! No hospital bed equipped with oxygen type infra, no trained staff, no vaccine, no masks, no social distancing, hand wash is out of question as we can’t see what one is doing after going back home & all we know is have another lockdown! What better example of Déjà Vu could have been there than our useless, foolish, ignorant, careless attitude towards disaster management & when I say “our attitude”, it’s not just the govt but every one of us is included! As neither the govt made any preparations on medical facilities front nor the public learnt any self discipline to face the next wave of pandemic, so who should be blaming whom now!

By the Déjà Vu means a feeling of having already experienced the present situation & this is why I used the term for sharing the disasters we are experiencing! May it be nature or man made a disaster is never an accident, its outcome of our attitude (read as ignorance or arrogance) towards our past actually! There always is first time, may it be flood or fire or pandemic but what we learn while we face the first disaster & what we act from what we have learn decides what we are & going by the way we are doing at present, no wonder the Déjà Vu of the disasters will be our best friend as that's what we the people deserve actually! And then the country of one thirty plus crore people  which believes (or lives) on miracles,  is in itself a miracle, so get amazed & be thankful to the god for every new day we wake up to live again, to experience the Déjà Vu magic!

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Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.


Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4xX7eopH5o&t=5s

 

Please do visit my blog links below to read about real estate & home buying! 

https://visonoflife.blogspot.com/2021/01/post-lock-down-real-estate-home-buying.html

http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.com/


Creating Togetherness; team Sanjeevani Way(Click link below) 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/72157627904681345

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org

Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..

https://secure.mygov.in/

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

Saturday, March 27, 2021

100 Days of UDCR & Real Estate!

 









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“The most terrifying words in the English language are: I'm from the government and I'm here to help”... Ronald Reagan.

Ronald Wilson Reagan was an American politician who served as the 40th president of the United States from 1981 to 1989 and became a highly influential voice of modern conservatism. Well, as we know before joining politics Reagan was actor in Hollywood & was Union Leader also & no wonder it’s in USA the president himself can say such word about a system which he heads! And how perfectly every time I start something to share about real estate such witty & wise words helps me to open the topic as one look at our policies about real estate (I mean most of them) & you get more afraid with the new policy than welcoming it, such is the system we call govt & makes these policies which it thinks is to help the people (read as businessmen) at large!

And especially when the business is real estate then the above words of Mr Reagan fits so perfectly as the more  Mai Baap Govt tries to make the policies business friendly (govt loves this term) the more chaos (read as havoc) it creates! And then when the govt is thinking at large i.e. for entire State’s real estate’s ease then needless to say the mess is far bigger as even the God can’t make all the people happy at once but then the govt always thinks its mightier or greater than the god, isn’t it! And the latest happiness or ease of doing initiative for the real estate by the govt was none other than UDCR i.e. Unified Development Control Rules i.e. same rules for building buildings for entire State (* i.e. conditions apply, which here is, not for Mumbai region & our dear PMRDA which again is a joke but about that sometime next)! Its nearly 100 days complete now, the UDCR has been announced with Loud Speakers, Band-Baja, that how it will resolve all the problems of real estate (whom are you fooling!) & stream line the sanction process as the major enemy of entire real estate’s plan passing process was ambiguity on many fronts like TDR, Side Margins (distance needed to be kept between building & the plot boundaries), FSI, Height, Parking norms & many such but all these has been addressed & there will be no confusion, was stated by the govt! Real estate (read as fools) as usual welcomed UDCR with open arms & with acquired smiles on these happy faces & waited for trouble free (and fast) sanction process but even after three months of announcement of UDCR the confusion prevails (what else expected) as before UDCR its discretion or local body ( some call it as monopoly) but now the problem is rules are made by the govt i.e. State govt i.e. Urban Development Dept & the implementation has been put on the local bodies i.e. Municipal Corporations, Nagar Parishads, Collectorates, Town Planning Zone as well regional offices & all such establishments (I am not sure what’s fate of projects which comes under jurisdiction of Cantonments i.e. Defence establishments)! Let’s focus on our two temples i.e. PMC & PCMC (as PMRDA has been kept out of UDCR at least until now, don't ask why) for the implementation of UDCR as first & most important issue about implementation is the power centre which till now was within these two organizations for anything related to the DC rules as they has been drafted (created) by the respective local body i.e. PMC or PCMC! But now the UDCR has been drafted (and created) by the State Govt itself i.e. UD dept,  so for anything related to discretionary powers here, local bodies are like tooth-less & claw-lees tiger which nobody like to become one, especially when you have enjoyed the power of those teeth & claws! At the same time on other hand it’s very convenient also to dodge the unwanted issues for e.g. premium reduction or TDR utilization or Parking policy type sensitive things.

I can understand the agony at the local body level, especially GB i.e. elected members who thinks they are the city & its god too (and they are right in a way) as its the GB along with its finance arm like Sthayi Samiti i.e. Standing Committee & planning arm like Shahar Sudharana i.e. City Improvement committee used to hold all the cards about any city, its development, infrastructure & rules also! Its due to this power Jalgaon Nagar Parishad sanctioned & build a seventeen story building some thirty years back when in Pune there was permission for only five storied buildings! And keeping all due respect for good people in the system, its exactly these powers which made every local body making their own rules for building control & used for the benefit of individuals more than collectively for the city is a fact. If on one side it was necessary to have the local bodies total have control on the development as they know the pulse of the city or town most is also a fact. And then real estate is a business or profession directly related to the local conditions of a city or town or region as you can’t take land from one city to another city just because it has better living condition. One has to plan the homes & allied industries or say daily wages earning factors keeping in tune with the local conditions of a city or town & that’s what makes drafting controlling rules for real estate very tricky job! At the same time it gives immense power to the controlling authority as when you call real estate then it’s not just homes we are talking about as we can’t build homes in a location where there is no water, no roads, no power supply, jobs, no means of entertainment, no industries or no communication in place & even if we build the best of the buildings at such places no one will come & live in such homes even we offer these homes free, leave apart buying them!

This is where the UDCR makes difference as speaking up personally I am of opinion the functioning of the development control rules should be like our Judicial System i.e. there is Supreme Court for any doubts about the rules framed but there is High Court also for deciding things which are not getting clear at District Court’s level so every now & then a person should not have to go to top level for clarification of smallest of the things. One more thing with real estate & DC rules is missing (read as needed)  that is  the way Supreme Court or the High Court acts on their own whenever they feel some injustice is happening around & on their own takes cognizance of such matter & act on it; same way the urban planning authorities also must act (one more Mungerilal dream)  as if you are behind implementing UDCR then can’t you see the confusion going on hundreds of fronts on real estate depending on the respective cities & its issues, is what I will ask to Mai Baap Govt! As right from slum rehabilitation rules to infamous TDR on 6m  wide roads to Metro corridor premiums to loading system of TDR vs. Paid FSI row among the local bodies & yes about illegal constructions about which everyone is suddenly silent!

Speaking about TDR utilization, all I know is revenue is an important aspect & cities as well towns if we need to make self sufficient then they must have their own avenues of revenue for which infrastructure is very important aspect & for that land acquisition plays vital role! It’s not about TDR or paid FSI as the builder should have his or her own liberty for same but that must not harm the entire infra aspect of the city. At the same time civic bodies are known to play soft when it’s hitting hard to masses for e.g. forceful road widening or reservation land acquisition & becomes very hard in implementing policies on business fraternity (read as builders), this also should be checked! Why we have to pay in cash or in form of TDR for land acquisition why it isn’t in the form of land bank or constructed form with local body can’t be exchanged for reservation lands, which can be way easier & cheaper option, high time to put our heads on such matters & act, this also is job of the Mai Baap Govt which is keen of UDCR philosophy!

In the end, just the way we look at the religion, i.e. it’s not which god you bows to, in the temple or masjid or church but it’s what you want by praying the god is important; same way UDCR or local DC rules, apply anything but see that the cities don’t get turned in to the slums, is all I will appeal to the policy makers, till then real estate is anyway running on “Ram Bharose” i.e. by God’s Grace, in English!

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Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.


Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4xX7eopH5o&t=5s

 

Please do visit my blog links below to read about real estate & home buying! 

https://visonoflife.blogspot.com/2021/01/post-lock-down-real-estate-home-buying.html

http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.com/


Creating Togetherness; team Sanjeevani Way(Click link below) 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/72157627904681345

For any of your complaints about city, log in at link below

www.punecorporation.org

Take your issues to Hon PM at link below..

https://secure.mygov.in/

Think Green, Think Life

www.sanjeevanideve.com

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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

"Save My Grassland": a Wolf's Appeal !!










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“But more impressive than the facts and figures such as height, width, age, etc., are the entrancing beauty and tranquillity that pervade the forest, the feelingof peace, awe and reverence that it inspires.”... George MacDonald.

 

George MacDonald was a Scottish author, poet and Christian minister. He was a pioneering figure in the field of modern fantasy & fairy tales literature and the mentor of many fellow writers. No wonder it’s only a fairy tale writer who can describe the forests the way Macdonald has written about those greens! Most people when heard the word forest the scene comes to their mind is of tall trees, greens with creepers & flowers everywhere & serene types but then let me tell you not all forests are evergreen or with creepers & flowers & mist looming over them & with lots of water bodies around! Some forests are yellow, grey even black too, seemingly barren on the surface & all you see is just shrubs or dried grass covered land stretched over miles but they are equally alive as any other typical forests you think about or know about! 

Interesting Central India is gifted by the Nature God with many such grasslands & entire Deccan Plateau which ranges from foot of Western Ghats & stretches towards south-eastern side of the country. Most of this part comes under rain shadow because of mountain ranges of the Western Ghats & all the grasslands are the outcome of this rain shadow area i.e. very less rainfall. Pune district is very special on the habitat front or say forest front as on the west side it has got classic western ghat forests i.e. green with rivers, stream & wooded hills then its south-east side has secondary type  grasslands rich with many species which can survive only in such habitats!

 

Most people (even the regular forest goers) doesn’t know that grass land forests is a separate type of forest & is home for hundreds of species like Indian Gray Wolf, Bengal Fox, Termite Hill Gecko as well birds like falcons, kestrels, short toed eagle & many such all of which now are in extreme danger of extinction. Needless to say the reason for the threat of extinction is none other than our (humans’) encroachment on these grass lands for reasons of our needs like cattle grazing, residence, farming, industry & if nothing then due to sheer ignorance towards these grasslands! As whenever the term “save forest” is referred it’s usually taken as trees, creepers & an area with tiger (mostly) in it & all the focus of conservation is towards such habitats or lands or terrain, whatsoever you call them. And unfortunately (with all due respect) the forest dept (read as govt) also is no exception to the above misconception of “save forest” mission & that’s why the grassland forests are in grave danger along with species like wolves! Already the forest dept is poorly funded & to relocate the villages from core areas of project tiger itself is a problem so to acquire the land under thousands of hectares of grasslands is a near impossible job for the forest dept. And then the poor infrastructure of the forest dept as well allied other department’s ignorance towards wildlife is another “kamjor kadi” i.e. weak link of the system. All these lacunas, some genuine & most deliberate are major enemies of the grasslands which are taking their last breath along with many species & the scene is not just around Pune but all along Central Indian terrain!

 

I will share my own experience of visiting this grassland patch in March 21 near Pune, its some 70 off km from Pune & in span of six hours I could see  a lone wolf wandering for food, a male fox, a fox den with pups, some reptiles, Montague harriers (many of them), short toed eagle & many such. Where we saw Bengal Fox pups on the den, some 100 meters from there domestic cattle were grazing & where I could click the Grey Indian Wolf, just 300 meters besides it a JCB was clearing the land for plotting! Then at night we had round of the grassland & where hyenas is supposedly roam I saw bright lit rubber industry which the tour operator told me has come up in last year only & just ahead again entire grassland patch has been divided by a barbed wire fencing stretching for a kilometre length blocking the path of animals for that entire length! I understand (being a builder & civil engg by myself) all these grasslands must be under some private ownership & legally the said land owners have every right to utilize the potential of their ancestral land but for the very same years (or even more) the said grasslands are owned by wolves, fox & hyenas too, right? Most people may laugh at my logic & tag me as fanatic wild lifer but the truth remains & I am not saying not to give these grasslands to other animals making losses to its human owners but can’t we strike a mid way, is all I am asking & that’s what government is for, right?

Solution to save these grasslands is two or three fold, one is slowly making budget provisions & acquiring these grasslands exclusively for all the species is the best way which I know isn’t easy but we can do it as a long term solution. Another things is, use the locals around these grasslands (including such land owners too) as the saviour of the grasslands by making them realize as this can be  a good source of income as wildlife tourism need not have been just tiger & leopard is by now many people knows & do enjoy visiting such habitats. And such tourists who know the danger these grasslands are facing after visiting them can be a source of survival by their inputs which can be money they will spend here or awareness & many such avenues which we call conservation. Till all this happens deploy at least some staff, in & around such grasslands to protect the wildlife which is in grave danger of immediate threat of assaults by domestic animals & humans as monitor lizard & hare are favourite hunting targets for trade & food & which are abundantly seen in such grasslands & this is just one example. Agreed nobody hunts & eat or trade a wolf or a fox but if you burn away every grass leaf (grass burning for increasing fertilization potential of the land for farming is common phenomenon here) & kill every that specie which is food for a wolf or fox, then what you think will happen to them in the end?

 

Guys, the sight of that lone wolf looking in my camera while its wandering aimlessly for the food on the vast spread of burnt black grassland with JCB’s working to clear the remaining of the grass, haunts me even when I am awake; like it was asking me “look what have you done to my home, how you will feel if I do such damage to your home”! Well, one thing I promised to the wolf, from the camera lens, “you are not alone, just keep your hope alive & I will do my best for you”!

Here are some clicks of the grassland safari, click at the link ...

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/72157718627212286

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Sanjay Deshpande 

Sanjeevani Dev.


Please view my sharing about real estate in Pune at U-Tube link below..

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g4xX7eopH5o&t=5s

 

Please do visit my blog links below to read about real estate & home buying! 

https://visonoflife.blogspot.com/2021/01/post-lock-down-real-estate-home-buying.html

http://jivnachadrushtikon.blogspot.com/


Creating Togetherness; team Sanjeevani Way(Click link below) 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/65629150@N06/albums/72157627904681345

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