DNA India reported last week, over a decade after a special task force recommended stringent measures for the protection of tigers; the Centre is examining the effectiveness of the Special Tiger Protection Force (STPF) deployed to prevent poaching.
Debabrata Swain, Inspector General (IG), National Tiger Conservation Authority (NTCA), Nagpur, said that the two-member groups consisting of him and PS Somashekar, IG, NTCA, Bangalore, were evaluating the effectiveness of the STPF with the report expected to be submitted in a month.
“The STPF is very effective,” noted Swain, adding that the evaluation of the effectiveness of the STPF and its performance, whether the MoU signed by the state governments with the NTCA was being adhered to and whether the STPF needed to be scaled up, was being conducted.
The ‘Joining the Dots’ report of the Tiger Task Force recommended that measures be taken to “strengthen efforts geared towards protection of the tiger, checking poaching, convicting wildlife criminals and breaking the international trade network.”
In Maharashtra, the STPF, whose personnel are trained and armed on the lines of paramilitary personnel, has been, stationed in four tiger reserves in the state, namely Pench, Melghat, Navegaon-Nagzira and Tadoba- Andhari.