The incidents of wild animals, especially leopards from the forest of Aravali hills, straying into residential areas are increasing during summer as the wildlife department said it could not arrange adequate water for the habitats due to lack of funds.
According to officials of the wildlife department, the natural ponds and check dams in the jungles could not be filled with adequate water because the money allocated for the task has been transferred to the state treasury department.
Every summer, the department needs approximately R1.5-2 lakh to make arrangement for water to fill the check dams and ponds in the area.
An official said: “Earlier, the divisional office used to be informed as soon as the Panchkula forest department received the funds. Cheques were directly sent to the bank and funds were released without any problem. Now the treasury (department) first checks the status of paid cash with various departments and then passes them.”
Due to this reason, the forest and wildlife department officials have not received their salaries for the past two months.
District forest officer (DFO), Kulwinder Singh, justifying the delay, said: “Any new change has hiccups in the beginning. It is a normal process which should be solved in a few months time.”
Officials are concerned that thirsty animals may enter into nearby villages posing a threat for themselves as well as to the villagers. Recently, a leopard was sighted in Bhondsi.
The forest area of the Aravali hills has a number of protected animals including leopards, wild cats and jackals.