BDOs put on APO every month under panchayati raj
- Of the 279 BDOs (block development officers) under panchayati raj department, every month 15-20 are always placed under APO (awaiting posting order) ever since the Congress government came to power in the state.
- An employee under APO is not given any official work, but he/she continues to get full salary. In the last 18 months, nearly Rs 2.8-crore was spent on the salaries of these officials, who earned it without working.
- After delimitation, there are 352 panchayat samitis in the state now, the posts of BDOs to the newly-created 57 panchayat samitis have not been created yet. Hence against 295 panchayat samitis, 194 BDOs were recruited through rural development services (RDS).
- Another 85 BDOs have been deputed from other departments like education, ayurved, animal husbandry and PHED.
- “A BDO’s salary is around Rs 80,000. Hence, the total expenditure on the salaries of these BDOs is around Rs 15-16 lakh per month.
Defunct collars make Sariska tigers unsafe
- Tigers at Sariska Tiger Reserve (STR), where poaching threat looms large, remain unsafe as the majority of the collars on the necks of the big cats are still defunct.
- Also, GPS-enabled collars worth approximately Rs 30 lakh, which were proposed to be installed on the big cats, are biting dust for the past two years.
- According to records available with TOI, collars of only two big cats, ST-10 and ST-13 are functional, while heavy gadgets weighing between 1,400 grams and 2kg are hung around the necks of tigers ST-2, ST-3, ST-6 and ST-9 are defunct.
Sariska Tiger Reserve:
- Sariska Tiger Reserve is located in Aravali hills and forms a part of the Alwar District of Rajasthan.
- The Reserve is immensely rich in flora and fauna, and is famous for Royal Bengal Tiger.
- The park has populations of leopards, Nilgai, Sambar, chital etc. It also shelters a large population of Indian peafowl, crested serpent eagles, sand grouse, golden backed woodpeckers, great Indian horned owls, tree pies, vultures,etc.
- Sariska was declared a wildlife sanctuary in 1955 and was declared the tiger reserve later in 1978, making it a part of India’s Project Tiger.
- The Sanctuary houses ruined temples, forts, pavilions and a palace.
- Kankarwadi fort is located in the center of the Reserve and it is said that Mughal emperor Aurangzeb had imprisoned his brother Dara Shikoh at this fort in struggle for succession to the throne.
- The Reserve also houses a famous temple of lord Hanuman at Pandupole related to Pandavas.
Makeover of Sonar Fort Patwa Haveli
- The Jaisalmer collector held a meeting of various departments for development and beautification of historical places in the Golden City.
- Sonar Fort and Patwa Haveli and inspected Maru Cultural Centre established by historian Nand Kishore. He said that it is our social responsibility to conserve the colourful art, culture, history and ancient musical instruments.
- This large fort also called Sonar Qila, was founded on 12th July, A.D. 1156 on Trikuta hill by Bhati ruler Jaisal.
- Its fortification walls which are constructed of yellow sandstone without any mortar are strengthened by ninety-nine bastions and corner towers.
- Numerous bastions are made accessible through gates, viz. Akshay Pol, Suraj Pol, Ganesa Pol and Hawa Pol. The uppermost fortification wall has kanguras, gun-holes and jharokhas (balconies).
- The major attraction in the fort is a group of Jaina temples viz. Parsvanatha temple, Sambhavnath temple, Sitala Mata temple, Santinatha and Kunthunatha temple, Chandraprabha temple and Rishabhanatha temple.
- Amongst Hindu temples, Lakshminatha temple is important which was constructed by Maharawal Bairi Singh in A.D. 1437.
- The fort has tastefully carved palaces e.g. Rang Mahal, Sarvottam Vilas, Gajmahal, Zenana Mahal, Moti Mahal, Bada-Vilas and Jawahar-Vilas.
- Amongst the havelis, the Patwa Haveli located outside the old fortification wall (protected by Govt. of Rajasthan) is remarkable for its intricate stone carvings, jalis and mural paintings.
Landmarks and Monuments of Jaisalmer:
- Ghadsisar Lake: it is a rainwater lake which supplies water to the city. King Ghadsi of Jaisalmer constructed it 650 years ago with the help of the people.
- Jain Temple: There are seven beautifully carved temples built inside the fort walls. These temples were built between the 12th century to 15th century. Their main temple is dedicated to Chandraprabhu, who is the eighth Jain Tirthankar.).
- Patwon-ki-Haveli: It’s a collection of five houses, one of the havelis has been restored and turned into a government museum.
- Tanot Mata Mandir: It is located 120 kms from Jaisalmer near the Indo Pak border. Tanot Mata is considered to be a reincarnation of Goddess Hinglaj.
- Akal Wood Fossil Park: It is a fossil park of area submersed into the sea and the tree trunks got preserved in the form of fossils.
- The Desert National Park: it is famous for black buck, chinkar. The highly endangered Great Indian Bustard, one of the world’s heaviest flying birds, can also be seen here.