Animal attacks forced 6% people to leave Uttarakhand: Report
Apart from lack of education, health and basic amenities, the rising man-animal conflict in parts of Uttarakhand has forced people to leave the hills, said a report drafted by the Rural Development and Migration Commission
Apart from lack of education, health and basic amenities, the rising man-animal conflict in parts of Uttarakhand has forced people to leave the hills, said a report drafted by the Rural Development and Migration Commission.
Nearly 6% people had left the state due to fear of wild animals, the report said.
Ratan Aswal, convener of a group working for reverse migration, makes a point to stay in his ancestral village, Mirchora, in Pauri Garhwal at least once in a week.
“Attacks by wild boars are rampant in my village. Wild boars destroy our fields and we remain helpless. The leopards also often lurk in our area” Aswal said. “Stringent wildlife rules are posing a a hindrance for the villagers.”
Uttarakhand is one of the states with the highest man-leopard conflict rate. Rough estimates put the number of people killed by leopards since 2000 — when the state was carved out of Uttar Pradesh — at around 300.
Apart from destruction by wild boars, villagers protect their crops round the clock from elephants and monkeys. Crops in more than 400 hectares were damaged by wild animals last year.
According to official data, Almora district recorded the maximum -- 10.99% -- crop damage by animals, and Haridwar district the minimum -- 0.82%. The four hill districts – Almora, Nainital, Champawat, and Pauri – report the maximum wild animal attacks.
Releasing the Migration Commission report last week, chief minister TS Rawat said the state government was committed to creating facilities and striking a balance between development and conservation in a phased manner in the hilly areas.