Saturday, January 26, 2013

Sanctuary of liquor business

Sanctuary of liquor business
Times of India By Vijaysinh Parmar

If there is any sanctuary in Gujarat which boasts of highest number of flowering plants, its Barda Wildlife Sanctuary, bordering Porbandar and Jamnagar districts. But as you venture deeper into the forest, a strong stench of liquor fills the air. In fact, one can also find material used to make country liquor floating in the streams inside the sanctuary.

Around 10 days ago, Right to Information (RTI) activist Bhanu Odedara dashed off a letter to chief justice of Gujarat high court and chief secretary, Government of Gujarat, giving details about the flourishing liquor-making business inside the sanctuary.

Ironically, Barda is the place where forest department is planning to introduce Asiatic lions in the near future.

"There are more than 100 liquor making units, locally known as bhattis in Barda dungar (sanctuary). This place is the major source of liquor supply to Porbandar and Jamnagar districts. These units pose great threat to wildlife and biodiversity of Barda as they use forest wood and water to make liquor," Odedara said.

The sanctuary is a home to hyenas, wild boars, wolves, jackals, blue bulls and leopards besides other wild animals.

The modus operandi of bootleggers is also interesting. To save themselves from being caught, camels are trained to deliver the liquor at various fixed points. After the liquor is loaded on camels, they reach the delivery points without any escort. Few months ago, Ranavav police caught a camel with liquor loaded on its back. "Seizing a camel is a headache for us as we have to take care of the animal till the case is solved," police sources in Porbandar said.

When contacted, deputy conservator of forests, Porbandar, Lalit Parmar said, "We have not come across any such cases of liquor making. Even if it is going on, it is the primary responsibility of the police to carry out raids and control the menace."

No comments:

Previous Posts