Aman Sood, Tribune News Service
Patiala, September 14. The increasing number of wild animals is proving to be a major nuisance for farmers in the state.
More and more animals are damaging the crops.
Due to the Assembly elections early this year, the animals could not be culled for the first three months. Since the animals have begun to get out of control, farmers have sought the help of the Wildlife Department.
Monkeys, blue bulls and deer are some of the animals that have been damaging the crops.
Farmers, whose land is near protected area, are continuously troubled by wild animals. Those who complain of attacks are issued special permission to hunt after getting a resolution passed by village panchayats.
“In January, February and March, we had to deposit our firearms following instructions from the election commission due to the Vidhan Sabha elections in Punjab. This was a critical time for hunting,” said Patiala based hunter Balraj Singh Ghumman.
Ghumman has received dozens of requests from farmers across the state to do the culling for them. Recently, hundreds of farmers from the nearby town of Nabha had held a dharna in Patiala demanding government intervention to help them save their crops from the wild animals. “We cannot work in the fields for the whole day and then stay awake the whole night to protect our crops,” rued one of the farmers.
Farmers alleged that once their crop was destroyed by wild animals, getting compensation was next to impossible from the government.
Dhirendra Singh, Chief Wildlife Warden, Punjab, admitted that the attacks on farmers’ crops were increasing but said the department could not do much.