Monday, March 21, 2011

Quick relief for tiger attack victims now

Vijay Pinjarkar, TNN, Mar 19, 2011, 04.26am IST

NAGPUR: At a time when man-animal conflict is at its peak, the state government has come out with relief to tiger attack victims by providing compensation without waiting for funds.

A GR issued by the state government recently states that legal heir of victims who die in attack by wild animals will get immediate relief. Even those injured in such attacks will get quick compensation

The GR states that even if funds are not available and the balance sheet is in minus, victim will get immediate aid. There are many complaints that kin of victims don't get financial relief in time.

The demand was made by chief wildlife warden DC Pant during a meeting with deputy chief minister Ajit Pawar during the assembly session in Nagpur. Pant pursued the matter.

"There have been compensation cases pending for years. This not only puts forest department in bad light but the field staff too has to face the ire of villagers. It also leads to locals turning against tigers," a senior official said.

The government pays Rs 2 lakh to the kin of victims who die in wild animal attack or suffer permanent disability. Besides, Rs 50,000 is paid to those injured. The government also bears the medical expenses of the injured.

During the last four years (2006-10), the man-conflict has increased in Vidarbha from 30% to 70%. At least 69 persons have been killed by tigers and leopards in Chandrapur district alone in the past six years from January 2005. In many cases compensation has still not been paid. However, the situation is expected to change in the current financial year.

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