50 employees man three districts
Baramulla: The department of wildlife that is responsible to catch the wild animals that stray in residential areas has only 50 employees for three districts of north Kashmir including Baramulla, Kupwara and Bandipora.
Official sources in the wildlife department said that from the past several years they are facing acute shortage of men power in this northern region. “In a single day we are receiving at least 10 to 20 phone calls from far flung areas of region that wild animals including leopards and black bears, wolves and now pigs have ventured in residential areas or have attacked people or livestock with callers wanting immediate action, but the dearth of staff does does hamper a quick response, ” a senior official of the department told Kashmir Reader.
He said that there a main wildlife office lies Sopore, and we have some other sub offices in Tangmarg, Baramulla, Kupwara, Handwara, Bandipora, Gurez, and some other offices besides there are men deployed on watching towers are at different wildlife protected areas.
The officer said when we are going any place to catch black bears or leopards we need at least ten highly trained personals, and one can imagine if many such cases propup at a given time how difficult it becomes.
The officer said, the forest department has thousands of employees in three districts but the department of wildlife has a lot of work has only fifty staff members, including office staff as well.
Another official told kashmir Reader said that from past several years we are continuously appealing higher officials to increase the staff of wildlife department but nobody is paying attention towards the department.
Wildlife Warden for north Kashmir Mohammad Maqbool Baba confirmed to Kashmir Reader that they have only fifty (50) personals for three districts of north Kashmir and it is very difficult to deal with wild animals at various places one time. He said we have all equipment like cages, guns, vehicles, and other items, but have shortage of staff.
“Our men are working on round the clock because people are calling our department for wild animals attacking people, killing livestock, or they are roaming in residential areas but it is also true that we can’t reach in time at every place only because we have no manpower,’ he said adding that he personally informed the higher officials and government to increase the manpower of the department, and I am hopeful that this issue will be addressed our problem