LUCKNOW: A tiger on the prowl has clawed into the working of the prestigious Central Institute of Sub-Tropical Horticulture (CISH) at Malihabad near here.
The scientists in the institute are forced to stay indoors as the big cat is stalking in its orchards.
The CISH is the only institute in northern India, which conducts research on sub-tropical fruits like mango, gooseberry, guava , Bel and others.
To the surprise of the scientists, a tiger has been roaming in the institute’s orchards, which has resulted in work being stalled for the last three months. The big cat was seen at the mango and guava orchards spread over 300 acres in Remanikhera village forcing experts, who came from Odisha and Andhra Pradesh, to forgo their field studies. So far, the animal has avoided attacking humans.
The animal strayed into the CISH area from the Terai belt, which is a tiger habitat. The UP Forest department has advised farmers not to pass through the forest area after sun-set.
More than 12 villages have been affected, and the farmers had left their wheat fields without harvesting.
“We have deserted several bighas of our wheat crop,” said Obaidulla of the Rehmanikhera village. The scientists and researchers too are frustrated.
“This is the peak period of mango crop. For us this is the time for us to study the experiments we did during the entire year.”
“But we are not able to visit the mango farms,” lamented Dr H Ravishankar, who is the director of the CISH.
Talking to Express, he said that he had written many letters to the Forest department, “to expedite the tracking of the tiger, but nothing has happened”.
The CISH institute is in the heart of India’s mango capital, Malihabad, about 25 kms from here.
The famous “Dushehri” mango is exported from Malihabad to the United States of America, Europe and the Middle East in large quantities.