Wild animal attack: Hilly areas of Kerala witness crop loss; compensation disbursal poor

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Human-wildlife conflict (Representative Image)

Seethathodu (Pathnamthitta): Even as residents in hilly areas of Kerala are in despair due to rampant crop loss from wild animal attacks, the forest department is seen callous in compensation disbursal.

Though wild animal attacks are costing lakhs for the farmers, the compensation distribution is meagre. Not just that, more often the disbursal gets delayed.

While on one hand, forest department’s interventions are not affective in curbing wild animal menace, compensation process is loopy on the other hand.

Forest officials maintain that compensation cannot be dispersed to farmers doing agriculture on lands sans tittle deeds. However, most of them are doing agriculture on such lands.

The application for crop loss need to be done online. While the web platform has limited information and even compensation fixed for some crops are not listed.

Meanwhile, the process to get compensation for attack on domestic animals too is complicated. The web platform does not even list the compensation fixed for leopard attack that is on the rise.

The compensation process itself is cumbersome. The residents have to run from pillar to post to get certificates from agriculture officer and veterinary doctor. Apart from losses incurred, they have to find money to meet travel and time costs.

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