Aurangabad farmers fear deers

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Aurangabad, May 20 (ANI): Farmers in Aurangabad region of Maharashtra have sought compensation from the State Government as thousands of deer have damaged their crops after sneaking from nearby forest areas.

The deer have destroyed the cotton and orange crops but also the grass surrounding the agricultural lands which the farmers use for their livestock.

"The deer are destroying our crops. They eat up all the grass. They also destroying the cotton and the orange crop. We, the farmers are facing a lot of problem since the past three to four years. The officials of the forest department come and after a lot of surveying register the losses. After all this they give a meagre compensation amount of rupees 50 to rupees 100," said Anna Shinde, a farmer.

Consequently, the farmers sat on a protest recently demanding compensation from the Forest Department for the losses incurred by them.

Officials of the Forest Department claimed that they have distributed almost 10 million to the farmers whereas each farmer gets a meagre sum of rupees 50 to 100 which they contend is peanuts when compared to the losses incurred by them.

Meanwhile, the Central Government has approved a project for the translocation of the deer.

However, the provisional project is only for a 100 out of the thousands of deer which are destroying the crops.

"There are two programmes for relief. First is compensation. We have given compensation to the farmers amounting to more than 10 million. Secondly, the long term program is to translocate the deer's. They can be translocated to Karanja Sohal sanctuary. We recently got approval from the Central Government for this program," said B.S. Hooda, Conservator of Forests, Aurangabad.

The farmers have been facing this problem for the past half a decade.

The farmers believe that the Forest Department needs to take more concrete steps before more and more crops fall prey to the herds of deer.

As per prevailing law, killing of deer for the venison meat is a penal offence in India. By Abdul Hadi (ANI)

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