Home Cities Meja sanctuary: Forest dept on alert to protect Prayagraj blackbucks

Meja sanctuary: Forest dept on alert to protect Prayagraj blackbucks

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Alarmed over an incident in Guna district of Madhya Pradesh where three cops were killed in firing by blackbuck poachers, the forest department in Prayagraj has alerted its staff at the blackbuck sanctuary at Chand Khamaria and Mahuli areas of Meja in trans-Yamuna.

It is worth mentioning that the Chand Khamaria and Mahuli area is home to hundreds of blackbucks, whose numbers have increased during the past few years. After the area was declared a sanctuary, steps were taken for the security of blackbucks and arrangements were made for their drinking water etc. There are around 13 hectares of forest area in Meja, bordering Madhya Pradesh.

At present, the area is home to around 565 blackbucks, including around 250 females and 130 fawns. During summers, blackbucks often stray into nearby villages where they are exposed to the threat of dogs and poachers. However, officials claimed that there have been no reports of the presence of poachers, and blackbucks are safe at the sanctuary.

Divisional Forest Officer Ramesh Chandra said arrangements for water holes and solar pumps were made for blackbucks so that they do not enter surrounding villages in search of water. Half a dozen watchtowers are used to keep an eye on the forest area and the movement of blackbucks.

Two security guards are always present at the outpost made in the Meja forest area. Beat guards, range officers and other daily wage staff carry out regular patrolling under a section officer. The patrolling staff is equipped with firearms.

“The forest area is not too large and there is no threat of poachers here. However, forest staff, there have been asked to remain on alert and keep a strict eye on the movement of suspects around the forest area,” DFO shared.

12 ponds for blackbucks

At present, there are 12 ponds including four cemented which are supplied with water through submersible pumps. Special grass has been planted for greenery and guards have been deployed on watch towers in three shifts.

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