RUPESH SAMANT/DEVENDRA GAONKAR
GOA (Valpoi) The farmers in Sattari taluka are troubled, harassed and facing unprecedented brunt of wild animals creating nuisance in their fields.
They spend sleepless night over the make shift platform erected in the field watching out for the wild animals who can come any time and romp their fields.
It’s just a matter of one hour and a group of Wild Boar or peacocks can ruin the entire paddy. Or a heard of monkeys can attack coconuts and arecanuts within no time leaving the trees fruitless.
Ashok Joshi, lives at Hetodem village in Sattari, just 10 kms away from Valpoi.
He has interesting fact to tell while narrating about the nuisance created by wild animals. “The village has 150 people living in it. But there are 450-500 monkeys who are inhabiting this area. They were hardly few, some years back,” said Joshi.
The village is located at stone’s throw away from Mahadayi Wildlife Sanctuary. The wild animals travel from there down in the villages and create nuisance, destroy crops and then go back.
Wild Boar and peacocks frequent the fields, defying the solar power fencing that is erected to keep them away. “The solar power fencing passes the current but despite that the wild animals manage to come in. The smell of paddy attracts them,” he said.
Joshi’s paddy field is ruined. The Arecanut and Coconut grove adjacent to the paddy field is also devastated. Walk in the farm and you will find hundreds of coconuts eaten and thrown on the ground by heard of monkeys who regularly attack here.
The farmers claim that the disturbance in food chain has resulted in such a phenomenon. The animals at the upper end of the chain has disappeared, that is why the number of wild boars have increased.
Joshi recalls how some years back, a heard of wild dogs used to move around in the village due to which the other animals had disappeared.
But things have changed now. Rohan Joshi, a young farmer, claims that during last five years, the nuisance has increased manifold.
“People have stopped cultivating paddy fields as they find it unproductive. What is the use of toiling in the farm when you will have wild animals ruining them at the end of the day,” he said.
There were more than 25 farmer who used to cultivate paddy, but now their numbers have decreased. It is having ripple effect on other things.
For example, Velsai river which is a tributary of Mahadayi, had 27 check dams on them rejuvenating the water table. The farmers have left cultivating paddy and only seven dams are remaining. The result of which is clearly seen on the water table as rain water runs down without being checked to the main river.
The intensity of the animals ruining the farms can be seen with the fact that 4200 farmers have applied for the compensation from the state government because their crops were devastated by wild animals.
State Agriculture Director Nelson Figueiredo said that there are several thousand farmers who have been paid compensation but there are more who never come up asking for assistance.
“The issue of wild animal is really troubling the farmers and we are providing all the possible assistance to the farmers,” he added.
Mayem locals demand shops at newly renovated lake project
Mayem: Mayem panchayat and residents of Mayem have urged the government and the MLA to allot them shops at the renovated Mayem lake project, which is likely to be inaugurated soon.
Mayem sarpanch, Vijay Pole told The Goa Spotlight that the former MLA, Anant Shet, had promised the locals that they would be given shops at the new venue and so the government should abide by the promise.
It may be stated that there are about twenty shops by the road side at Mayem and earlier when the tourists visited the lake they used to have a good business. With the renovation of the lake, the entrance was shifted to the other side and the shopkeepers now feel that they have been sidelined.
“If we do our business on the main road, we would be totally sidelined and no one will come to the area where we have our shops,” a shopkeeper said.
“Around 100 families were dependent upon this lake for survival. We were promised that we would be given shops at the entrance of the lake and we demand with the MLA to abide by the promise.”
“The work of the lake is already over and we demand that the shopkeepers should be given their rights” panch, Kunda Mandrekar said “locals should get jobs and other opportunities at the lake so that they can get their rights.”
“After I became the sarpanch, the panchayat got an application demanding shops for the locals. I immediately took step and will followup the issue with the authorities,” said Pole.
“The first phase of the project is over and we demand that the shopkeepers should be given their shops else we would be forced to agitate on the day of inauguration” he added.
Valpoi Farmer files complaint against Forest officer
- Accuses forest department of losses to the crop
GOA (Valpoi): Rajendra Tukaram Desai, a farmer from Advoi village, on Wednesday has filed a police complaint against the range forest officer, Valpoi.
In the complaint he have mentioned that wild animals like Bison, monkey, wild board and others animals have destroyed his cultivation, agriculture crops in large and he have suffered the heavy loss.
Further Desai, said that the range forest officer have failed to keep control on wild animals. And he demand to the range forest officer that to make the arrangement to recover his loss.
Malkarne residents of Goa plant trees in potholes to protest poor street conditions.
Resident says, when it comes to us we feel neglected. This is a message to the Government from the residents, hope it is heard.