As per the scheme, the state government will pay 75 per cent of the expenses for the development of a village and remaining 25 per cent would be borne by the villagers. Accordingly, forest department distributed 130 LPG connections to eligible families in Salai-Pewat village.
“There are total 170 houses in Salai-Pewat village in which we have distributed 130 connections recently. As per the response we are targeting that we will provide LPG connections to the remaining houses within a month or so. After the initiative, many other villagers approached us to know about the scheme,” Shrikant Naik, Forest Range Officer, told mediapersons on Wednesday during a visit to the sanctuary.
This success encouraged the staff to promote this plan in other villages too in order to make forest more safe for the animals. “This scheme reduces interference of villagers in the jungle and also reduces the man-animal conflicts. After this success, we are planning to propose the same scheme for three more villages to the government,” Naik added.
Gram Vikas Parishad President, Sanjay Dholas explained, “It was not an easy task for us to keep this plan in front of villagers, but at last we have done it in cooperation with the department in our village. The efforts helped the villagers reduce entrance in jungle for firewood. Earlier, every family used 400 kg firewood in a month, costing around Rs 800, but LPG reduced this burden. Parishad is also planning to start sewing classes for the villagers and purchase sewing machines with the help of department to make them self-reliant.”
Forest department is also planning to allow the use of 840 acres of forest land as grazing land for domestic animals. Less interference of humans in jungle will help conserve the biodiversity.