Recently, the Chhattisgarh government is facing objections from its own legislators, including a minister, to its plan to further decrease the area of the proposed Lemru Elephant Reserve.
- They have stood up in support of thousands of tribals demanding that coal mining in the jungles of Hasdeo Aranya be stopped.
- The ministers have suggested to invoke the “no go areas” policy for the forests requesting to classify the catchment area of Mand and Hasdeo rivers as conserved.
- The “no go areas” policy was an initiative to classify coal blocks across the country and ensure that forested areas are not destroyed for mining.
- They had requested to limit the area of the proposed elephant reserve to 450 sq km.
About Lemru Elephant Reserve
- The state government, meanwhile, notified the reserve October 13, 2020 under Section 36A of the Wild Life (Protection) Act, 1972 or WLPA. Elephant reserves are not recognised under the WLPA.
- However, an area can be declared a ‘conservation reserve’ under Section 36A. The management of a conservation reserve involves communities living in the area through the formation of the conservation reserve management committee. This is unlike other protected areas like national parks and wildlife sanctuaries, mentioned in the WLPA.
- The reserve is aimed at minimizing human-elephant conflict and destruction of property in addition to providing a permanent habitat for the elephants.
- The proposed Lemru elephant reserve is a natural elephant habitat with very few human habitations and has been an elephant bearing area from ancient times.
Need of Lemru Elephant Reserve
- The issue of human-elephant interaction.
- It is important to restore elephant corridors from the pressure of mining activities in the forest and to mitigate human-elephant interactions in the state.
It is recommended to adopt an integrated land use planning and emphasis of the state governments should be to take appropriate steps to secure and restore corridors.
Elephant Reserves in India UPSC : Click here