TIRUPPUR: Farmers in villages surrounding Gudimangalam say wild boars have found shelter in isolated wind farms and abandoned facilities in Virukkalpatti, Anikadavu, Kongal Nagar, Puthupalayam, Jothampatti.
Tamil Nadu Farmers Association (Gudimangalam) secretary CJ Sridhar,’Wind mill farms have become nesting grounds for wild boars in Gudimangalam. Around 2.5 acres of land is needed to install a wind mill, of which the turbine will occupy 1,200-1,500 sq.ft. The rest of the land remains unused.
Over a period of time, the land is filled with bushes and thorny plants which becomes breeding ground for wild boars. There are more than 200 wind farms in Virukkkalpatti and other villages in Gudimangalam. We suspect there could be several hundreds of wild boars in these farms.”
Virukkalpatti panchayat president Akalya Prakash said, “There are more than 1000 families in our panchayat and agriculture is the primary occupation. But, wild boars are causing havoc to farmland. Farmers who cultivate cotton and maize are the worst affected. If the situation continues for a few months, we will have to abandon agriculture.”
Puthupalayam panchayat president K Periasamy said,”Wild boars are large and strong animals, and farm labourers refuse to work in the fields after sunset fearing the animals. We submitted petition to former forest minister Dindigul Srinivasan and other top officials but no action was taken.”
An official from the forest department said,”We believe there is a big change in the breeding pattern of wild boars. Earlier, they used to return to the forest in Udumalaipet, which is 40 kilometres away. But, now they are found concentrated in isolated windmills and waterways in Gudimangalam.
Since the wind farm land belongs to private parties, we will be speaking to windmill owners to clear the bushes. Besides, we have advised farmers to grow spiral cactus and pencil bush (Tirugukalli) to keep the animals at bay. The thorns will pierce the thick skin of the boars and the technique has yielded result in Jallipatti village in Udumalaipet.”