Udaipur : Controversies seems never to leave Ustad aka T-24’s side and the forest authorities, neither at Ranthambore nor at the Sajjangarh Biological Park here. The department which drew flak from animal lovers for its alleged lackadaisical attitude in the tiger’s upkeep that was blamed for his recent sickness, is under the scanner again. This time it is for the hasty and ‘unwise’ decision of the authorities to have dissolved a committee of experts that was constituted six months ago in May to facilitate and monitor Ustad’s acclimatization in Udaipur. Just a day before the forest minister Rajkumar Rinwa arrival at the park, the expert committee having 8 members from across the state was dissolved without attributing a proper reason for the termination.
“ At a time when the experts experience and advice is really required to deal with the ailing tiger who is fighting for recovery, the dissolution comes as a big shock” said Dr Reza Tehsin, one of the member. However, officials have other reason to explain. “ Higher officials have made a committee of three veterinary doctors to treat Ustad hence there was really no requirement for the earlier committee to exist, therefore it was dissolved” said Rahul Bhatnagar, the chief conservator of forest (wild life).
Just one meeting in six months
The department had set up a high power committee on May 16 to monitor T24 when he was shifted to the Sajjangarh Biological Park. The committee included APCCF R.K Tyagi (Jaipur), DCF T.MohanRaj, ACF Dr Satish Sharma, CCF Jodhpur, DCF Pali, Dr Reza Tehsin (member of Tiger Conservation Foundation, Raj Govt), Vets Dr Shravan Singh Rathore and Dr Himanshu Vyas. “ Though it was called a high power committee, it was not given any importance. As a committee we just had a single meeting in six months, and saw Ustad only once ” complained Dr Tehsin.
“ They have constituted a three member committee now to treat Ustad but all of them are just medical doctors who may have never studied tigers in the wild. Only experts know the tigers and their behavior better” he added. The veteran activist is no mood to let it go easy as he says he would write to mark his discontentment. However, officers seem not much worried. “ Three members of the earlier committee including forest officers Mohanraj, Satish Sharma and Dr Vyas are still toiling day and night for T24 so there is no expertise issue at all” claimed Rahul Bhatnagar.