PTI, September 2, 2022, 2:38 pm IST
Consultant picture (supply: Wildlife SOS)
Kotdwar: The concern of leopards in Dugadda and Pokhara blocks of Pauri district of Uttarakhand has compelled villagers to depart their ancestral properties and flee.
Whereas residents of Dugadda’s Godi village and Pokhara’s Bharatpur village are collectively abandoning their properties and residing on lease in locations like Kotdwar, folks in neighboring villages proceed to stay in concern of massive cats.
Individuals don’t come out of their properties after darkish. They take their kids to varsities and again to make sure their security. It takes up virtually all their time, affecting their work and monetary situation.
The dock, positioned 16 km from Kotdwar, was utterly abandoned by its residents on 25 August. Solely 4 households have been left within the village and so they too had left their ancestral properties and farms and moved out.
Villagers have taken shelter in rented homes in Dugadda and Kotdwara.
Earlier 12 households had left the village. Eight of those 12 households had left a couple of years in the past and used to come back again to the village on occasion, Chandra Prakash Choudhary, a resident of the village who now lives in Kotdwar, informed PTI.
Chaudhary mentioned that on April 10 final 12 months, a leopard was enjoying Chandra Mohan Dabral’s five-year-old daughter Mahi within the courtyard of his home.
Chaudhary mentioned that final month, Reena Devi was dragged away by a leopard when she was getting back from faculty leaving her little one there.
“It shook the religion of the 4 deserted households within the village and with a heavy coronary heart they took the collective determination to depart their ancestral properties,” he mentioned.
Shanti Devi, who walked away from the dock, mentioned she had left most of her belongings within the village and was dealing with difficulties in beginning a brand new life.
Kotdwar Sub-Divisional Justice of the Peace Pramod Kumar blamed the rising variety of leopards for the mass exodus by the residents of Godi village, which has made them extra aggressive.
“We’re coordinating with the forest division to accentuate patrolling within the space. It will instill confidence within the villagers and so they can return to the dock.
Dozens of villages in Chaubattakhal tehsil of Pokhara block have additionally been residing in concern of leopards for years.
On June 10 final 12 months, Godavari Devi of Dabra village was working within the fields close to her home when a leopard killed her. In Might 2018, a leopard killed Virendra Kumar, a resident of Sundarai village, in a roadside passenger shed.
Other than Dabra and Sundarai, folks residing in dozens of villages like Mazgaon, Kilwas, Quin, Chamnau and Saudal live in fixed concern of massive cats.
Bharatpur village – one other village in Pauri that has been emptied of its inhabitants – seems a abandoned look as all its residents have moved out.
Throughout Covid, two households returned to the village to take up farming. However the concern of leopards compelled certainly one of them, Sanjay Sundriyal, to depart. He had come to Delhi together with his household a couple of months again.
On the mass exodus by villagers, Divisional Forest Officer of Garhwal vary Mukesh Kumar mentioned that rising leopard assaults might be one of many causes.
He mentioned that efforts could be made by the administration to rehabilitate the villagers who needed to migrate because of the concern of massive cats. Ramesh Chandra Sundriyal, who lived alone within the village, lastly left dwelling two days in the past and made his Gawani city, about 10 km away, his new dwelling.
Within the forests on the outskirts of Kotdwar, Lansdowne, Dugadda and Chaubattakhal, leopards have injured many bike riders after they misplaced their steadiness after being ambushed by a giant cat on the way in which.
Social activist Sudhir Sundriyal mentioned that about 5 to 6 leopards are seen every day in these areas. He mentioned that individuals have been requested to stay alert by loudspeakers, phone calls and textual content messages.