CHENNAI: The Forest Department has approached the State government for powers to shoot down wild pigs, which were a serious problem for farmers in the Western Ghats and other forests.
According to a counter affidavit filed by the Forest Department in response to a PIL seeking to eliminate the wild pig menace, the standing crops damaged by pigs in farms was being compensated according to the government norm of Rs 25,000 an acre or less. In the last five years, Rs 1.88 crore was paid to affected farmers.
After analysing the problem and taking into account the scientific management of wild pigs in high abundance areas, the Forest Department had requested the government to delegate powers vested with the Chief Wildlife Warden under the Wild Life (Protection) Act to Range Officers/Foresters assigned to territorial ranges to shoot for a prescribed period the wild pigs that damaged crops. This would initially be a pilot scheme in selected divisions – Tiruvannamalai North and South, Tirupattur, Vellore, Hosur, Hassanur, Coimbatore and Madurai – which registered heavy crop raids by wild pigs.
When the matter came up before the first Bench of Chief Justice SK Kaul and Justice MM Sundresh on March 15, the petitioner’s counsel told the judges he was satisfied with the measures now being taken. Recording this, the Bench closed the PIL.