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Himachal govt allows killing of blue bulls

Continuous damage to standing crops due to intrusions by blue bulls (nilgai) in several villages in the Shivalik foothills has forced the state government to relax the norms and allow killing of the animal.

Written by Hemlata Verma | Shimla |
March 4, 2010 12:47:43 am

Continuous damage to standing crops due to intrusions by blue bulls (nilgai) in several villages in the Shivalik foothills has forced the state government to relax the norms and allow killing of the animal. The permission will apply only to the areas falling under the forest divisions of Una,Bilaspur,Nurpur (Kangra),Paonta and Nalagarh.

Over the last few years,farmers from Una,Bilaspur and some parts of Kangra,Sirmour and Solan districts that share borders with neighbouring states had staged several protests and made requests to the government to allow the killing of blue bulls.

The government had earlier given permission to kill monkeys and wild boars,after the issue of damage to crops by these animals was raised at several platforms,including the state Assembly. While many villages have since reported killing of wild boars and submitted evidence to the forest department,only Nauradhar in Sirmour district has so far claimed to have killed monkeys. At other places,people abstained from killing monkeys due to religious sentiments and sought help from the wildlife department.

“In Una and Paonta in Sirmaur,where farmers earlier grew cash crops like sugarcane,pulses like black gram,Bengal gram,kidney beans,chick peas,horse gram,green gram and cereals crops like wheat and maize,a majority has restricted to crops like taramira,which is used as a animal fodder and is not consumed by nilgai,due to losses in successive years,” says Kuldeep Singh Tanwar,state president of the Himachal Kisan Sabha.

After a sustained campaign in 18 panchayats of Una district,the farmers gathered at Beet on Monday to demonstrate and submit a memorandum to the chief minister.

Many two-wheeler riders have died in the past due to sudden encounters with animals on hill roads at night.

According to the government’s decision taken earlier this week,the divisional forest officer and range officers have been authorised to issue permits for killing blue bulls. The one-time licence shall be given for four weeks only,during which a maximum of two blue bulls can be killed. The farmers will also need to produce evidence in this regard before the officer concerned. The licence can be extended to a maximum of four more weeks.

Due to the ongoing Vidhan Sabha session,no official agreed to be quoted on the issue,but said the government had specified that people would have to make their own provision for killing the animal and the forest department would not execute it.

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