Monday, 30th October 2017

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Push to keep leopards away from tea gardens

In the past 1 year, 6 persons, including children, have been killed by wild leopards in tea gardens of the district

By Our Correspondent in Alipurduar
  • Published 6.01.20, 5:03 AM
  • Updated 6.01.20, 5:04 AM
  • a min read
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The move has brought some relief to forest department officials who have time and again said it is necessary to keep the tea estates clean of unwanted vegetation, particularly on unused stretches. Shutterstock

The district administration has asked managers of all tea gardens to come up with projects which can be taken up under the 100-day work scheme to clear the estates of unwanted vegetations.

The move has brought some relief to forest department officials who have time and again said it is necessary to keep the tea estates clean of unwanted vegetation, particularly on unused stretches.

There are 64 gardens in the district.

“In many of the tea gardens, particularly which are located close to forests, leopards hide in thickets and look for easy prey like cattle or poultry. But in recent years, we found that a number of humans, especially children, were attacked and killed by leopards. That is why we wanted the administration to take an initiative along with the management of the tea gardens to ensure that thickets are removed from the estates,” said Kumar Vimal, divisional forest officer, Jaldapara wildlife division.

Now that the administration has decided to include the vegetation clearing under the MGNREGS, it seems that the plan will work, he added.

In the past one year, six persons, including children, have been killed by wild leopards in tea gardens of the district.

“We had a meeting with the district magistrate and other officials last month to discuss the implementation of the MGNREGS in tea estates to help non-workers and casual workers. After the meeting, we asked the managers to give top priority to the removal of unwanted bushes in the gardens. They will submit the schemes to the BDO offices soon,” said the managing director of a company that runs four estates in the district.