PATNA: Upset with the rampaging neelgai (blue bull) devastating the crop fields, just pick the licensed gun and shoot the animal down. It's now official.
In bid to ward off the increasing menace of neelgai damaging the standing crops in certain parts of Bihar, the Bihar State Wildlife Boardhas decided to give this permission to the affected farmers who have licensed arms. The matter came up at the meeting of the board, chaired by chief minister Nitish Kumar.
The board, showing its concern over the growing menace and damage of hectares of crops, took this decision. Permission will be granted in those areas where the problem has become quite serious.
Under the provision, the farmers who will kill neelgai will also be compensated with the cost of the cartridges fired to kill neelgai at the rate of Rs 500 per cartridge and also Rs 1,000 for the burial of the animal, said forest and environment department secretary Deepak Kumar Singh. "This permission has been given to protect the standing crops and scare away the animals," Singh said. The recommendations of the board will be sent to the cabinet for approval.
Singh was however, not very sure if the farmers would be able to shoot down neelgai since this animal of antelope family runs very fast. He recalled that a few months back a neelgai entered the Gaya airport but despite free permission it could not be killed.
The board has also decided to enhance the compensation for death and injury to human beings due to wild animals' attack as well as for the loss of crops. The compensation for death due to attack by wild animals has been increased from Rs 1 lakh to Rs 2 lakh. The decision was taken in the light of the central government enhancing the compensation.
However, during the past few years very few incidents of such deaths have been reported.
Similarly, in the wake of serious and simple injury, damage to pucca or clay house and also the damage to standing crops by the wild animals the compensation amount will be increased as compared to the prevalent rates, as per the decision of the meeting.
The meeting also decided to constitute committees under the DMs to check the damage of the standing crop on large scale by the neelgai. The committees will have forest divisional officers, district agriculture officers, district animal husbandry officers and all the divisional officers as members. The committees will evaluate the damage of the standing crops by the wild animals particularly neelgai and look into the complaints by the affected farmers.
The wildlife board was of the opinion that the skills and services of several sub-castes like snake charmers, madari, kalandar and others which depend on their traditional profession to eke out a living should be utilized in some other areas so that their dependency on the traditional professions could be minimized.
It was directed that a survey of these social groups should be conducted in bid to utilize their services in wildlife protection and link them with alternative profession and rehabilitate them.