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Smart Patrolling: Incidents of crimes in Sundarbans declining

Photo:  Smart patrolling team conducting drive in the Sundarbans.

Mirror Desk : The incidents of crimes are declining in the Sundarbans as smart patrolling has proved to be an effective mechanism to combat forest crimes, claims forest officials.

Members of a special smart patrolling team are conducting drives in different parts of the Sundarbans using ‘cyber-tracking system, aiming to preserve wild animals, including Royal Bengal Tiger and deer, and also prevent other forest crimes.

Mahmudul Hasan, divisional forest officer (DFO) of the Sundarbans East Division, said the patrolling teams conducted drives from January 23 to February 28, this year. During the drive, they arrested 39 people and seized 69 boats and 39 nets after patrolling a 10,339-kilometer area of the mangrove forest.

The drive will continue till December 31 this year, he said.

Using the cyber-tracking method, the ‘Smart patrolling’ (special monitoring and reporting tools) team can monitor the dens of wild animals, poaching of Royal Bengal Tigers and observing the intruders in the forest.

During the drive, the special team arrested fishermen and intruders involved in catching fish illegally in the Sundarbans. They also seized some boats and current nets from their possessions.

The patrolling team members are taking legal actions against those involved in violating the rules of the forest after tracking the crime spots through GPS service.

Sources said the government introduced the ‘smart patrolling’ drive in October, 2017 while the team started their work on January 23 under four ranges of the Sundarbans East and West departments.

However, the Forest Department sources said the authorities concerned have been thinking of extending the tenure of the special team for its success.

Mahmudul Hasan, divisional forest officer (DFO) of the Sundarbans East Division, said skilled members of the Forest Department have been incorporated in the smart team for helping them during the drive.

Amir Hossain Chowdhury, the forest conservator of Khulna region, said the project, smart patrolling has been introduced for preserving the resources of the Sundarbans. “Forest crimes have already come down through the drive,” he claimed.

He also stressed the need for increasing equipment for the team and introducing ration system for its members.

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