At a time when the maize crop is ready for the harvest, wild animals have caused significant damages to the crop in various villages of Phillaur subdivision in the district in the past one month.
Not only maize, sugarcane crop and fodder have also been damaged by wild boars, blue bulls and other animals.
Farmers of Atti, Kang Jagir, Takhan Majara, Pala Ucchi, Pala Chhoti, Jajja and Tahing villages of the subdivision are a harried a lot these days as wild animals are giving them sleepless nights.
They have to guard their crops during the night and have to tackle animals when they enter the fields in search of food.
Moreover, the wildlife department in Phillaur has also failed to provide any help to the distressed farmers.
Meanwhile, farmers are using various techniques to save their crops such as erecting fences in the area or using electric current to ward off wild animals. Some farmers have even deployed dogs and installed lights to keep a vigil around their fields.
Dinesh Kumar, a farmer from Kang Jagir village, said most of the residents of his village complained of damage to their crops by wild boars. He said with the rise in raids of wild animals, majority of farmers had not sown maize, sugarcane in their fields last year.
The farmer further said the wildlife department has failed to act on their complaints due to which farmers and farmhands had to scare the wild boars away.
Gurdeep Singh, a farmer of Tahing village, said, “Wild animals come from hilly and forest areas near the Sutlej and have injured many labourers in the past also. Once wild animals enter the fields, they eat maize and flatten the standing crop which remains of no use for farmers.”
Makhan Singh, a farmer from Palla Chhoti village, said he had also suffered losses to his sugarcane crop that was destroyed by wild animals.
An official of the wildlife department claimed that the state government had formed a policy for compensating the farmers for loss of life and crops due to wild animals.
He said whenever the department receives a complaint from farmers concerning crop damage, officials of the agriculture department visit areas and to assess the losses.
He said the population of wild animals was on the rise in the state and due to loss of their natural habitats these wander into the fields.
Divisional forest officer (DFO wildlife) Navneet Singh said, “The department has no information about the exact location from where wild animals come. Anyone can contact our office with the land records of their fields with an application to claim compensation for losses caused by wild animals.”