The forest department has called off the campaign to nab jackals on Indore airport premises after confusion over who will foot the bill for the operations.
Officials say more than 20 jackals are hiding in the tall grass on the airport premises spread over 940 acres. So far, three jackals and two wild cats have been trapped near the runway since the operations started a month ago.
"The cages kept at the airport have to be stocked with meat and vegetables on a daily basis and some forest personnel have to be assigned for this work," said an official of the forest department. The cages have to be checked on a regular basis and shifted from time to time. However, the airport has no separate budget for this kind of operation.
On the evening of October 24, a jackal had come between the tyres of a Spice Jet plane while it was taxiing to the runway. The flight was delayed while a thorough inspection was carried out. Taking serious note of the incident, Indore airport authorities had held a meeting with the forest department personnel and an elaborate plan was chalked out to trap the jackals. Several cages were installed and food was kept as bait to lure the sly animal. Experts say the menace of stray animals will not go away anytime soon.
"The problem is the topography over which the boundary wall has been built. There are depressions in the land at several spots and jackals have managed to enter the premises by digging under the boundary wall. The jackals who have been hiding in the tall grasses on the airport premises have now settled down and have also been breeding," a senior forest department official told HT. Besides jackals, wild cats and snakes are also present on the airport premises," he said.
In November, a buffalo had collided with an aircraft while it was taxiing for take-off at Surat airport. Following the incident, the Union Aviation Ministry had issued a circular to all airports across the country to carry out thorough inspections of the perimeter walls.
In the past too, stray jackals and wild dogs have given headaches to the airport authorities. The problem had subsided in the past few months but has recurred.