Sunday, January 08, 2006

Sunderbans tiger census puts pressure on the local economy

Sunderbans tiger census puts pressure on the local economy

Kolkata: It is the peak tourist season in the tiger reserve forest in Sunderban in West Bengal. But the ongoing six day tiger census has adversely affected the business of local tour operators and fishermen.

No fisherman is permitted to catch fish in these areas during the Census started from January 5.The census will continue till January 10.

“The fishermen face huge losses during these six days of tiger census as they are not allowed to enter in these areas. They used to catch fish in the buffer area and wildlife area aside from core area but now those places are out of bounds. The fishermen and woodcutters are facing losses, “said Rampada Mondol, a fishery business man.

“It would have been better if the tiger census had been postponed by a month. We are losing out our business. But on the other hand the increasing result of tiger census helps boost the number of tourists “, said Khagendranath Mondol, a tour operator.

All water transports around the Tiger Reserve Forest area, including in the buffer as well as core areas have been banned and consequently the tour operators are failing to fulfill promises made to the tourists to show various locations in the delta forest. The entire Sunderban area now wears a deserted look.

All fishing boats have been grounded and the tourist but-buttis or mechanized boats are also unable to carry out the tour packages in the creeks around the reserve forest area.

Many people like the woodcutters and honey collectors who depend on this forest for their livelihood have also been prohibited to enter this area during the census.

People in the villages adjacent to the Sunderban area prefer to go on a short holiday or relatives’ home as life has come to a standstill during the six day census.

http://www.newkerala.com/news.php?action=fullnews&id=81100

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