Punjab to provide compensation on crop damage by wild animals

North Gazette News/Chandigarh
Punjab government on Thursday announced policy for providing compensation to farmers on damage to the crops by the animals and any loss of life and property.

Punjab Forest and Wildlife Protection minister Chunni Lal Bhagat said that the government has framed a policy in thus regard to provide relief to farming community on damage by wild animals.

“In case of death by snake bite, a sum of Rs 2 lakh as compensation has also been approved and covered under this policy,” Bhagat said.

He said that due to the effective implementation of wildlife (protection) act, 1972 the number of wild animals has been on increase in the state. But due to the loss of natural habitat of the animals because of construction projects, the animals have been inadvertently wandering into the fields thereby damaging the crops.

The minister also said that strong implementation of the act has also resulted in the increase in the number of wild pigs who often damage the crops by venturing into the fields.

“To keep the population of wild pigs in check, Punjab government has framed a policy of allowing restricted hunting of pigs under which the farmers would have to intimate the number of wild pigs in their fields and get a resolution passed by their village Panchayat and after that get permission for limited hunting from Sub-Divisional Officer (Civil) and concerned Forest Divisional Officer,” Bhagat said.

The minister informed that this policy is applicable throughout the state. “Farmers have demanded fencing around their fields to stop damage to their crops and in Patiala District out of 6 wild life sanctuaries, fencing work around Bir Mehas, Bir Bhunarheri and Bir Bhadson is on at full swing,” he said.

Bhagat added that the chain link fencing around Bir Gurdialpura, Bir Motibagh and Bir Dosanjh is going on and will be completed according to availability of budget. This work is being carried on with the assistance of central government.

He added that inspite of that if the crops of farmers are still damaged by wild animals then the affected farmers can make a representation to the nearest forest divisional officer and get compensation.