No tendu collection in tiger reserve: Foresters
Adilabad: Despite the requests from the public representatives, the forest officials are not allowing the collection of beedi leaves (tendu collection) in the buffer zones of Kawal Tiger Reserve (KTR) and the tiger corridor in Adilabad and Asifabad districts, citing possible human-wildlife conflicts due to the increased movements of tigers in the area.
During summer, Adivasis and the people of tribal villages get a livelihood through the collection of beedi leaves in forest areas in the erstwhile Adilabad district. However, unlike in the past, in some places, the leaf collectors especially women are afraid to enter the forest area due to the increased tiger movements.
With not allowing the activity in some areas including Bejjur, Penchikalpet, Dahegam and Kagaznagar, Sirpur (T) mandals in Kagaznagar Forest Division where tiger movements were found, the forest department is also losing its revenue on tendu collection, which is considered as the minor forest produce (MFP).
Recently, MLA Koneru Konappa appealed to the forest minister Indrakaran Reddy to permit the collection of beedi leaves in the villages located in the forest areas that come under the buffer zone of KTR and the tiger corridor between Maharashtra and Telangana in the Sirpur (T) Assembly Constituency.
The minister said the govt would take a decision after taking the expert opinions into consideration.
Indrakaran Reddy said the state government had set 2.27 lakhs of standard bags as the target for the collection and selling of beedi leaves this season and with the deadline of May end.
A senior forest officer on condition of anonymity said the tendu collection would affect tiger conservation efforts since a large number of people enter into reserve forests and sensitive areas of buffer zones where tiger sightings are frequently found.
The officials say the tribal people collect beedi leaves during summer when the tigers roam from one place to another in search of drinking water which leads to human-wildlife conflicts.
Already, the foresters have stopped the activity of beedi leaf collection in the core area of Kawal Tiger Reserve by not allowing the people on its fringes in Jannaram, Kadam and Utnoor areas.