Nagpur: Former minister and BJP MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule have written to Union environment minister Bhupender Yadav to reserve part of Totladoh reservoir in Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh for fishing by the local people.
Former minister and Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule have also confirmed that they have received around 40-50 applications from the local tribals. They also want legal sanctions to catch fish as a source of employment. They also want that some part of the Totladoh reservoir in the Nagalwadi and Silari ranges should be opened for fishing.
However, the Former minister and BJP MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule’s date of 14 June also makes reference to a representation of Ramtek Congress leader Uday Singh alias Gajju Yadav to Minister of Communications, MoEFCC, Who is a staunch supporter of Pench fishermen.
Bawankule has also said that the local people are completely dependent on fishing for their livelihood. And the ban has also put a question mark on the existence of these families living on the banks of the Pench Tiger Reserve (PTR).
These tribals may also be allowed to catch fish after the Totladoh reservoir’s share becomes fit, under the vigilance of the forest workers who oversee the conservation huts. The Forest Department can also recover revenue from them, says the letter to Yadav.
Villagers had approached the High Court
However, wildlife experts have termed this demand of the Former minister and Bharatiya Janata Party MLC Chandrashekhar Bawankule as completely absurd. He has also said that first, the former minister should also understand that there is a ban by the Supreme Court on catching fish inside the Tiger Reserve.
Second, the small villages on the banks of Pench were basically laborers who had been brought in for the construction of the Totladoh dam. Even after the completion of the dam work in the year 1990, he remained in Pench.
These villagers had also approached the High Court against their clearance by the Forest Department. In the year 2002 too, the court had completely rejected his claim and directed him to be removed from the screw as well.
These same people were later settled in Vdamba by the administration in the year 2002. The claim of the villagers on the right to catch fish under the Forest Rights Act (FRA) has already been rejected by the District Level Committee (DLC).
As already mentioned and documented, fishermen from nearby villages enter the reserve, also pass through the main tiger habitat, And are also involved in all kinds of absolutely illegal activities such as setting fire to the forest, attacking patrol personnel with weapons, hunting wild animals, etc.