Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has announced that the name of Hoshangabad district headquarters will now be Narmadapuram.
The Chief Minister made this announcement on Friday 19 February on the occasion of Narmada Jayanti.
The Chief Minister observed the auspices occasion by performing abhishek and aarti of Ma Narmada alongwith his wife Ms Sadhana Singh at the Sethani Ghat at Hoshangabad.
The Chief Minister later observed while talking to media-persons “For how long we can allow Hoshangabad to be identified with Hoshang Shah who was a robber and had destroyed our temples.”
Former Chief Minister Digvijay Singh has invited bitter criticism after he responded to the Chief Minister’s announcement by dubbing it as “drama”. He also threw a poser saying will it create jobs and improve the economy.
Bhopal: “The Tiger – Indicator of Healthy Forest Ecosystem”, a Lalit Shastri film, produced by Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board, is receiving global acclaim and raving reviews.
The 53-minute documentary has been shot over a 20-year period. Most of the video footage used for this documentary has been recorded on first-generation DV handycams that could be treated as symbols of evolving technology. It has been produced to build awareness about conservation and protection of biodiversity, forest and wildlife. The documentary showcases the flora and fauna of Madhya Pradesh in all its grandeur. It contains exclusive video footage and interviews of wildlife and forestry experts with special focus on Tiger and factors threatening its habitat and the ecological system of the central Indian highlands.
The documentary is all about the magnificent tiger that sits at the apex of the biotic pyramid.
The tiger began its journey on earth about 2 million years ago and has roamed in this habitat for 146 billion days and nights.
Central India is the heart of India’s wildlife. For several million years it has remained covered with Asian sub-continent’s largest forest tracts that are closely identified with the tiger. Around 17% of the world’s tigers, of course in the natural habitat, are found in this landscape.
The major carnivora in the Central Indian Highlands are the tiger, leopard and sloth bear.
The herbivore population in this territory is mainly represented by gaur, sambar, cheetal or the spotted deer and black buck. This region is also famous for the hard ground barasingha.
The Kanha Tiger Reserve, apart from supporting a viable population of the tiger, has also distinguished itself in saving the highly endangered hard ground barasingha from extinction, and has had the unique distinction of harbouring the last world population of this deer species.
It is only recently that a few Barasinghas from Kanha have been relocated in Bori Sanctuary while some have been brought to Van Vihar National park in Bhopal.
There is evidence in the form of the Balaghat district gazetteer to tell us that the barasingha was found in all parts where sal forests existed. Capt Forsyth also gave a vivid account of the abundance of the Central Indian barasingha.
When Bori sanctuary near Hoshangabad was declared a Protected Area by the British in 1861, it became the first Protected Area in the country. Due to the forest management practices, we can still see living forests in this landscape and one can truly call it a perfect tiger habitat.
The documentary throws light on the success of the The Panna Tiger Reintroduction Project taken up to repopulate the Panna Tiger Reserve in 2009 after the last of the Panna tigers had vanished. History was created when a Panna tiger–Panna-212 discovered the Panna-Bandhavgarh Tiger Reserve corridor and paired with a tigress in the Sanjay Tiger Reserve adjoining Bandhavgarh in 2017.
If we want to protect the tiger, we shall have to ensure our forests remain living forests. A forest can be a living forest only when the different strata of the forest community are intact; when there is abundance of grass, shrub, moisture, and enough worms, insects and reptiles to burrow the soil and make the ground porous to allow rainwater to percolate and recharge ground water ; and when there are birds, bees and butter flies that serve as pollinators and seed dispersing agents. Our forests can regenerate only when all this as constant. Let us not forget that the ecosystem has to be intact for survival of not only the carnivores and herbivores but also humankind. – Lalit Shastri
The rapid depletion of forest cover is a matter of serious concern in the Central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh these days. What is alarming from the environmental point of view is that a large forest area is getting converted from very dense forest to moderately dense, and from scrub forest to open forest. The forests are particularly threatened by reckless firewood collection. The State Forest department is harvesting mean annual increment of the forest area after managing it on sustainable yield basis. But the dependence of local communities on forest is very high and they remove as much as 5 to 6 times the mean annual increment. And this is one of the root causes of decline in forest productivity.
In Madhya Pradesh, Nistar is one privilege offered to the village population where people get free grazing facility but this against the process of forest regeneration.
Firewood collection is free. Earlier it was allowed for personal use but due to pressure from political groups, now they are also allowing firewood collection for commercial purpose. The problem gets aggravated as standing trees are being chopped under the garb of firewood collection.
Poaching is the second biggest cause of decline in tiger population. Outsiders are not indulging directly in poaching in this region. Of course the demand for tiger skins and their body parts is from outside – mainly the international traffickers. The village communities living in forests also harbour criminals particularly from some backward communities that have subsisted on wildlife poaching through history.
Pardhi is one community whose skills are being used by the international mafia for wildlife poaching and the dissemination of tiger– the grand representative of this habitat. Unless the pardhis are weaned away from the traditional poaching activity, the future of tigers is bleak.
The Central Indian Highlands and the river basins of Madhya Pradesh form a huge watershed with Narmada, Chambal, Betwa, son, Mahi and their tributaries charging rivers like Ganges, Yamuna, Tapti, Mahanadi and Godavari. This landscape ideally should be treated as the water capital capital of India since it broadly takes care of almost 40 per cent of the water requirement of at least 10 Indian States.
Tiger out of the woods, is easily slain; the wood also, that is without a tiger, is easily cut down. Therefore, it is the tiger that protects the forest and the forest that shelters the tiger.” – Mahabharata
Contrary to the letter and spirit of the law of nature depicting the symbiotoc relationship between forest and the tiger spelled out so succinctly in the Mahabharata, we have a situation where about 19 million acres of forest land has been distributed in a short time under the Scheduled Tribes and Other Traditional Forest Dwellers (Recognition of Forest Rights) Act, 2006, also called the Forest Rights Act, that provides for giving forest rights across India, including both individual rights to cultivated land in forestland and community rights over common property resources to tribals and other forest dwellers. One can imagine the magnitude of the crisis and the havoc caused to our forest wealth following the enactment of the Forest Rights Act by appreciating that each acre of forest land that has been parcelled out to the people, on an average, had about 35 to 40 trees, of course depending upon the site quality.
It is a pity and a shame for humanity – the way the tiger population has dwindled over the years. All are aware how poachers keep striking at will. The tiger habitat has been methodically encroached – an activity diabolically supported by politicians to win votes and stay riveted to power. Whatever remains of the tiger habitat is being plundered by the mining mafia and illegal fellers or else the so-called stakeholders who are robbing the forests and the entire biodiversity base through reckless grazing and minor forest produce collection. Let us go back a few years. By 2009, the last of the Panna tigers had vanished. It is an entirely a different matter that after a few years of relocating and breeding under controlled conditions, the Panna Tiger Reserve is again boasting of tiger numbers. There is no reason to be proud of Panna re-population progrmme because the idea is not to breed tigers under controlled conditions but to ensure the forests and their corridors are protected to such an extent that there is minimum man-animal conflict and tigers are left with the necessary privacy and prey base to ensure they breed and thrive in their natural surrounding.
Corporate social Responsibility
School students in Bhopal are coming under the umbrella of Young CREW for Tigers, which is part of the Conservation Awareness Programme launched by CREW, a not-for-profit organisation. CREW is spearheading the programme aimed at building a movement for tiger protection and wildlife conservation. It was an important milestone in this direction when a team of Young CREW for Tigers met Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in his official chamber in the state Assembly on March 12, 2013. On this occasion, the children gave the message: “Bagh hai to jungle hai, jungle ha to jal hai, jal hai to jeevan hai.” ( if the tiger is safe, the forest is safe, if the forest is there, there is water and where there is water, there is life). This was greatly appreciated by the Chief Minister. As part of CREW’s partnership with Sanctuary Asia and its Kids for Tigers programme, CREW’s young brigade also presented the Chief Minister a banner with the slogan “Save our Tigers”.
During this meeting, the chief minister had blessed the students emphasising the importance of conservation and sustainable approach towards life. He had also conveyed his best wishes for the success of the Young CREW for Tigers initiative and the Kids for Tigers programme. The children had used this meeting as an opportunity to present to the Chief Minister a poster of Kids for Tigers programme and an illustrated booklet on Pench Tiger Reserve titled “Glory that is Mowgliland“, published by CREW [ Click here for Glory that is Mowgliland in digital format ]
It’s more than just sad the way tigers are perishing or getting killed….I’m horrified by the fact that most of those who can act have abdicated their responsibility….Instead they are busy counting their gains and falling to greater depths on being doled out lavish sinecures and positions that matter. By paying lip service to combat Wildlife crime and by going all out to allow reckless cattle grazing, logging, minor forest produce collection, mining and encroachment of forest land, they are thriving and at the same time driving the last nail in the coffin of this majestic specie.
It is time the world sits straight….the tiger crisis is only drawing lip service…the tiger habitat is not only shrinking…it is being raided day in and day out by tourists besides poachers…what to talk of immense biotic pressure aggravated by population pressure…The forest in the catchment of our rivers are getting denuded at a rapid pace. For example the destruction of forests in the catchment of the Narmada River in Madhya Pradesh has touched alarming levels. Consequently, the rivers and tributaries in this landscape do not remain charged all the year round through the natural process of percolation of rain water and gradual release of water through streams and rivulets. No wonder, the grand Narmada is no longer perennial. As the slopes across the Central Indian highlands are becoming barren, there is too much of silting through runoff that reduces the carrying capacity of our rivers. Hence, when monsoon arrives there are flash floods as too much of water flows into the rivers in too short a time thereby leaving the rivers thin, lean or dry for remaining part of the year.
4 June 2015 was a Black Day for ecology, green cover and forests as on this day the Madhya Pradesh Government issued two extraordinary gazette notifications to bring in force the “Madhya Pradesh Protected Forest Rules, 2015” (Under these rules “Protected area” has the same meaning as assigned to it under The Wildlife Protection Act, 1972) and the “Madhya Pradesh Village Forest Rules, 2015”. These rules will sound the death knell for forests and the already threatened wildlife. [ Check: What will be the state of the forests in Madhya Pradesh after a few years? https://newsroom24x7.com/2015/06/17/what-will-be-the-state-of-the-forests-in-madhya-pradesh-after-a-few-years/ ]
Large-scale land use change has become a common practice leading to massive depletion of forest wealth. In Central Indian landscape that can be called the water capital of this country, the forests that stretch across the undulating slopes and ridges of the Vindhya and Satpura mountain ranges that form a massive watershed and provide the passage to the Narmada river and its tributaries to flow have continued to face immense biotic pressure due to a horde of factors that are not being addressed in totality.
I am not interested in tiger numbers. I am only interested in the safety of tigers in their natural habitat. I am only interested in preserving the core, the buffers and corridors and keeping them free from poachers, illegal mining activity, reckless logging and exploitation of natural resources. The factors threatening the forests are too many. Today the tiger that sits on the apex of the biotic pyramid is gravely threatened. It would be a crime against the most majestic of all species if we remain mute spectators and allow the politicians and their bureaucratic arm to destroy and devastate our forests and wildlife. My heart weeps for the vanishing stripes…….
Bhopal/Amarkantak: Inaugurating a massive plantation Campaign along the Narmada river, Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan today announced that public programmes in the State will begin with plantation of saplings and Kanya Poojan (girl worship) ceremony.
The chief minister said that entire state is fulfilling the commitment to enrich greenery around Maa (mother) Narmada today. Hundreds of thousand people are offering prayers to the Narmada river and undertaking plantation at their own will, he said adding there is an atmosphere of enthusiasm in the entire state. Elders, children, women, students, farmers, social activists, journalists, administrative officers, police personnel and people from all walks of life are planting saplings today. This is a unque example of public participation and river conservation.
Addressing the people at a huge plantation programme organised at Amarkantak today, Chouhan said that trees are integral part of life. They give us fresh oxygen control the earth’s temperature, therefore each citizen of the state should shoulder responsibility to plant at least one sapling and ensure its protection. The Chief Minister Chouhan also participated in the plantation programme which was organised by district biodiversity management committee (BMC) set up at the initiative of Madhya Pradesh State Biodoversity Board, Police, Sports and Youth Welfare department.
Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board along with Bhopal Birds organised a special plantation programme at the Kaliasot dam site.
Marking the plantation campaign, Madhya Pradesh State Biodiversity Board, in collaboration with Bhopal Birds, also organized a “Seed Sowing Operation” with the help of about 100 students and children at the Kaliasot Dam site in Bhopal, the capital of the central Indian State of Madhya Pradesh. On this occasion, Member Secretary MPSBB and Additional Principal Chief Conservator of Forest R. Sreenivasa Murthy was present with his team and a large number of volunteers
Commissioner Public Relations Anupam Rajan joined a special plantation event held at Jansampark campus in the state capital to mark the Grand Plantation Campaign. Director Public Relations Anil Mathur, Additional Directors Suresh Gupta, Mangla Prasad Mishra, L.R. Sisodiya, and H.L. Chowdhary also planted saplings.