Published: Thursday 15 May 1997

Wild at heart

Regarding the article 'Tusker in trouble' on elephant poaching in Simlipal National Park (Down To Earth, Vol 5, No 18), the state of Orissa, in recent years, has become a haven for elephant poachers, who go about their job ruthlessly, knowing that there will be little departmental action against them. On an average, about 50 tuskers are killed every year. At this rate, it will not take long for elephants to disappear completely from the forests of Orissa.

We at the Wildlife Society of Orissa, have been raising our voice on this issue for the last one year but, despite several meetings with the chief wildlife warden, nothing has been done to check elephant poaching. We are outraged by the total lack of concern shown by the senior officials of the forest department.

We have mounted a campaign to save the elephants of Orissa and welcome those interested in saving them to join us. ...

Cry waff

This is with reference to the cover story 'More of everything?'(Down To Earth, Vol 5, No 18). Of late, it has become a fashionable practice for people to make doomsday predictions for the future of the earth without in any way bothering to offer solutions for any of the environmental problems being faced by humankind. No doubt the fourth estate's options are limited in this context, yet I strongly feel that its role is rather underplayed when it comes to realistic action. Merely talking about these issues will not help the situation. It is high time that the press in India and other developing countries became more action oriented in dealing with these issues. ...

All for one

The collector of Bastar, Rajgopal Naidu, has been in the news lately for his stance against timber cutting in the area. The Malik Makbuja trees scandal has received wide coverage in the media. The value of the timber cut is Rs 4 crore and the sale deeds show that the tribals sold their land for more than Rs 26 lakh. These deeds are evidently fictitious. Had it been otherwise, all this money would have been reflected in the improved lifestyle of the tribals. The trouble with Bastar is that the land records are bill of anomalies. There is no clear demarcation between state-owned forest areas and the land belonging to the tribals. This leaves a lot of scope for corrupt forest and revenue officers to take advantage of the situation.

The whole of Bastar is a case study in forest depletion and land clegradation. It is the duty of the civil society to support people like Rajgopal Naidu who are working in the interest of the tribals. ...

Can I have it

Apropos the article 'Enter green giant' (Down To Earth, Vol 5, No 15), please give me the address of GreenpeaceIndia, the international environmental NGO. ...

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