Incidents of man animal conflict are increasing at an alarming rate in Jammu and Kashmir and people blame wildlife department for not acting upon to control the damages caused during these wild animal attacks.
Whenever there is any incident of leopard or any other wild animal attack in some village the officials of the wildlife department have bear the brunt of the people who manhandle and even thrash the officials of this department. The ill-equipped wildlife department seems helpless and continues to face the wrath of the people.
The main reason for inaction of wildlife officials is lack of man power and hi-tech equipment, because that no posts have been created in this department from the day wildlife wing was carved out of J&K Forest department in the year 1977. Only few weeks back in the outskirts of Srinagar city leopards attacked a flock of sheep at Bagh-e-Buchroo village in central Kashmir’s Budgam district which left 25 sheep dead and several others severely wounded.
The Wildlife department had to depute officials from Hokersar Wetland reserve to take stock of the situation as no area of Budgam district comes under the administrative control of Wildlife department because there is no wildlife division in this area.
According to reliable sources Wildlife department has no sources to purchase the modern and latest wild animal traps which costs just Rs 1.50 Lakhs per trap and if there are at least two to three traps available in each district which are more venerable to wild cat attacks , the incidents of man animal conflict could be reduced to a great extent said an official of wild life department.
He said that district administration could also provide assistance to wildlife department by helping them to purchase such traps. Chief Wildlife Warden according to official sources has send a proposal to the Government for creation of new posts and modernizing the Wildlife department but the file is pending in the civil secretariat Forest department from a long time said an official of wildlife department Kupwara.
Pertinent to mention that large number of wild cats (leopards) have migrated to plain areas of Shopian and Budgam district alone from the last couple of years as their habitat has been under direct threat due to deforestation and developmental works being undertaken in these areas. As many as one dozen people have been killed in the year 2013 alone in Shopian and Budgam districts and the wildlife department remains a mute spectator due to non availability of manpower and modern equipment’s.