Seek Control Room To Avoid Any Untoward Incident; Authorities Assure Action
Baramulla, Jun 12: Inhabitants of several villages in frontier town of Uri in this north Kashmir district have been living in constant fear for considerable time. Repeated leopard and bear sightings and attacks on livestock have left them edgy and the people say there has been a steady spike in such incidents more recently.
A delegation of locals told GNS that the wild beasts have been seen making frequent rounds especially during the night hours in the areas including main market Boniyar, Qadeem Mohalla Boniyar, Rather Mohalla Boniyar, Thatamula, Athshanpora, Kanchna, Uronbova, Uri Main and Shahdara Uri.
The movement of beasts in the residential areas has created fear among the inhabitants, they said.
“We have brought the issue to the notice of authorities but to no avail. Even as there is imminent threat to our life, it seems they (authorities) are waiting for untoward incident to take place,” Imran Ahmad, one among the members of the delegation, told GNS.
Another local, Nadeem Ahmad, said that every year beasts including leopards, black bears, wild pigs cause damage to livestock even as troops of monkeys damage crops besides dent roofs of residential houses.
Urging the department concerned to establish a control room in the frontier town, they said that such a facility was of immediate need to avoid loss of life and property.
Meanwhile when contacted, a Wildlife Department official told GNS that there are only two employees in Sub-Division Uri to cater a population spanning some hundred villages. “With dearth in manpower, it is not even remotely possible for us to reach everywhere,” he said adding that “we have even shortage of equipments available while on duty.”
When contacted, Warden Wildlife North Kashmir Mohammad Maqbool Baba fairly admitted ‘acute shortage’ of manpower in the department.
“Nonetheless the movement of wild animals has also grown exponentially over the time due to various factors,” he said.
He said people especially those living in proximity of forests are requested to avoid movements towards woods to minimize confrontations with the wild animals.
Regional Wildlife Warden Kashmir Rashid Naqash told GNS that he will “surely look into and take measures.”
Regarding establishment of control room in Uri he said: “I will surely explore possibility and try my level best in this regard.”