Umaisar Gull Ganie
Kulgam, Aug 28: Following 725 human-animal conflict incidents in the past five years resulting in the loss of 10 lives and injuries to 19 others, demand for setting up of Wildlife Control Room (WCR) in South Kashmir’s Kulgam district is getting louder with each passing day.
Official data from the Wildlife Department accessed by the news agency—Kashmir News Observer (KNO) suggests that Kulgam district has witnessed 725 human-animal conflict incidents in the past five years, resulting in the death of 10 people and injuries to 19 others.
A wildlife official, wishing not to be named, said that the majority of these incidents have taken place in the Damhal Hanjipora area, which is home to a large number of wild animals, including leopards, bears, and wolves. He said that the lone wildlife control room in Devsar is not enough to effectively address the incidents of man-animal conflict.
In response to the pressing need for enhanced wildlife management and conflict resolution, residents of the Damhal Hanjipora area within Kulgam district have come together to advocate for the establishment of another wildlife control room in the vicinity of the forested region.
“We have been demanding a wildlife control room in Damhal Hanjipora for a long time,” said Mohammad Amin, a local resident. “The Devsar control room is too far and it takes so much time for the team to reach us. In the meantime, the injured person could die in absence of proper care.”
He said that the residents are always worried that a wild animal will attack them, especially during night.
Meanwhile, the Wildlife Department has acknowledged the need for another control room in Damhal Hanjipora, and they said an advanced type control room cum rescue centre will soon come up in the area.
“We are contemplating to propose a wildlife conflict control room in Damhal Hanjipora,” Wildlife Warden, south division, Abdul Rouf Zargar told KNO. “From the said control room all the areas can be checked and will help in addressing man-wildlife conflict issues.”
Rouf said that the centre will work as a control room cum rescue centre where injured wild animals can be treated and later released. He, however, said that the project will take time as they need to make the proposal, identify land, seek allocation of funds and other things in this regard—(KNO)