Pilibhit Reserve:Tiger search hit by cash crunch | lucknow | Hindustan Times
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Pilibhit Reserve:Tiger search hit by cash crunch

The forest department has sought Rs 10-lakh bailout to finance the ongoing search that was ordered to avoid any tiger attack on villagers.

lucknow Updated: Jul 25, 2017 15:38 IST
HT Correspondent
Tiger is still in sugarcane fields outside the PTR, officials have run out of cash to carry on their search.
Tiger is still in sugarcane fields outside the PTR, officials have run out of cash to carry on their search. (HT File Photo)

The operation to search and relocate a tiger roaming close to the villages near the Pilibhit Tiger Reserve (PTR) has hit a financial hurdle. The forest department has sought Rs 10-lakh bailout to finance the ongoing search that was ordered to avoid any tiger attack on villagers.

Such attacks have already killed 15 people in a year, drawing sharp criticism from locals.

Three teams of the forest reserve with two elephants and back-up teams are camping near Tandola village of Kotwali area of Pilibhit in search of a tiger, which was spotted by villagers at least five times last week.

Though officials claim that the tiger is still in sugarcane fields outside the PTR, they have run out of cash to carry on their search.

“Most part of the funds goes to the farmers as compensation whose crop is ruined by the elephants during the search. This, coupled with other minor costs, makes the search economically demanding,” said Kailash Prakash, divisional forest officer, PTR. “We have asked for the money to bear all these costs,” he added.

The PTR has to pay Rs 2.9 lakh as compensation to 16 farmers whose crop was destroyed. An equal amount is to be paid as other expenses.

“I have written to seniors in the forest department and asked them to ensure availability of funds at the earliest,” said the DFO.

While forest officials are searching for the tiger, which they intend to relocate to another part of the forest, villagers have been asked to avoid visiting their farms.

“We have not visited ours fields since last Tuesday when the tiger was seen. The forest officials are not allowing us to go there,” said Mulak Chand Verma, a farmer of the village.