VALPOI: The government has decided to pay Rs 15,000 as immediate relief to the villagers whose cattle gets killed by tiger or field is destroyed by wild animals, apart from the regular compensation.
“The government will pay immediate compensation of Rs 15,000 as relief measure to villagers whose field is damaged or cattle killed by carnivores. Also, if the deceased cow or buffalo’s milk yield was high, then the relief amount can go up to Rs 25,000 to mitigate the losses. This is excluding the compensation amount they will get after full assessment of the damage incurred,” Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF), Subhash Chandra says.
According to him, the compensation policy was framed in 2012 and under it only up to Rs 12,000 was being given. Now this has been revised.
“While saving the wildlife is our prime responsibility, it is also our duty to ensure that people don’t suffer. We have to maintain the balance,” PCCF Chandra says.
He also agreed that there is a gap in communicating the government policies to the villagers, especially those living in remote locations. Also help will be provided in driving out the animals from fields.
“We are increasing the presence of our forest staff in vulnerable areas. Goa is a small state and we have less staff. So we are trying to concentrate in remote areas. We are organising outreach camps so that people are in touch with us and report any incident of wild animal attack. We will also apprise people about the dos and don’ts to protect their cattle, especially while grazing,” he says.
The government is also preparing a mutually acceptable rehabilitation plan for the villagers who want to shift from vulnerable locations.