I am a journalist, working as Balangir correspondent of the English daily "The Pioneer" and “The Industry and Mines Observer”, an English fortnightly magazine published from Bhubneshwar. I was awarded the Trophy for "Excellence in Journalism" by noted Columnist Sri Shivaji Sarkar,in the presence of Editor in Chief -of The Pioneer,Dr Chandan Mitra ,Editor of The Industry and Mines Observer (IMO) Sri Sirish Mohanty on June19,2012.
Monday, 19 March 2018 | PNS | BALANGIR |
A carcass of a tusker was found inside the Chelia
Reserve Forest in the Loisingha Range on March 16 morning by local villagers
who had gone to collect firewood.
After getting information, the local forest
officials along with veterinary surgeon rushed to spot. The postmortem report
of the elephant body would be available within a few days and exact cause of
death of tusker would be known then, said a forest official.
The incident has raised many questions about the
circumstances and factors leading to the tusker’s death. Was it due to forest
fire or injuries or any gunshot by miscreants? How the officials could not have
any inkling about it?
Many people suspect that the elephants died due
to lack of food as after the harvest of paddy there is nothing left. The only
consolation is that a few water bodies exist where there is water to meet the
need of the pachyderms.
The body was buried inside the jungle in the
presence of lone veterinary surgeon, besides a ground level forest official. No
independent witness was present there.
Locals have demanded an inquiry into the
circumstances leading to death of the elephant.
Saturday, 17 March 2018 | PNS | BALANGIR |
Even as the forest officials in the district were
happy that the percentage of forest cover has increased substantially, their
happiness was short-lived as rising number of fire incidents has been devouring
forest area, besides the flora and fauna since the onset of summer this year.
The frequencies of the forest fire have kept the
fire squad boys on toes as at times fire is reported from multiple points.
Forest fire raged Sunadei reserve forest area on
March 13 night and a plantation in Upparuddar village in Sargard section in
Loisingha range on March 14 was also damaged due to fire.
Villagers telephoned to local forest officials
and range officials but they did not get timely response.
Upparuddar VSS president alleged that no forest
official reached to douse the fire which is distressing.
“On March 14, I inquired about the situation from
Loisingha range officer who said that multiple fire points were reported and
that became a reason why there were delays in reaching the spot,” said DFO
Forest department cannot fight fire alone with
squads. Why no sensitisation meeting and training of forest officials are held
this year like last year where all forest officials starting from DFO and ACF
Range Officers were on the field with the staff to fight forest fire
successfully, asked a local here.