Chandigarh, Mar 28 (PTI) Chief Minister Amarinder Singh today assured the Punjab Assembly of effective steps to prevent crop damage by wild animals in the state by directing the authorities concerned to permit farmers to hunt wild boars. He said sub divisional magistrates and divisional forest officers (territorial/wildlife) have been authorised to allow the farmers to hunt the wild animals responsible for damaging their crops.

Singh was responding to a call attention motion raised by MLA Amarjit Singh Sandoa towards non-implementation of a proposal to install barbed wires in order to separate villages in Ropar, Anandpur Sahib, Garhshankar and Balachaur assembly segments from the forest areas.

Reiterating his government’s commitment to curb the menace of wild animals in the Kandi areas, the senior Congress leader told the House that a pilot project for fencing agricultural fields to protect the crops from wild animals in these areas has been approved under the Rashtriya Krishi Vikas Yojana scheme.

A provision of Rs 8.16 crore was made for the year 2017-18, and Rs 8 crore had been provided for 2018-19 for this purpose, he said.

Singh said the Congress-led state government was fully sensitised to the hardships faced by farmers on account of the extensive damage caused to their crops by wild animals like wild boars, Neelgai (Roz-antelopes) and others.

“Several reports of such incidents had been received and the authorities have advised the farmers to keep a vigil at night,” he said.

The chief minister added that Rs 1.33 crore had already been sanctioned towards compensation to farmers against the damage caused by wild animals.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.