Punjab Allows Shooting of Crop-Damaging Animals

Punjab State Wildlife Board meeting chaired by Chief Minister Amarinder Singh has allowed short-term permits for shooting crop-damaging animals like wild boar and roz.

Punjab government has decided to simplify the procedure for sanctioning 45-day permits for shooting these crop-damaging animals.

It was also decided to put the permit process online and on WhatsApp platform to ensure ease of procedure for grant of permits.

These permits for limited hunting are confined to privately owned land and are meant only for crop-damaging animals. It will now don’t require resolutions by Gram Panchayats.

Other Measures Taken by Punjab Government:

The state government has also approved sterilisation of bulls by animal husbandry department to control the menace of stray cattle.

Other conservation measures approved at the meeting include creation of Ranjit Sagar Dam Wildlife Sanctuary to promote eco-tourism, such as angling and river cruise.

The meeting also gave in-principle approval to release of Gharials or fish-eating crocodiles (17 hatchlings of which are ready at Chhatbir Zoo) into Sutlej-Beas.

The state government also approved a proposal to convert Siswan village panchayat land into a community reserve by declaring 3,199 acres of land as forest area under the Land Preservation Act 1990.

The Punjab State Wildlife Board has also been empowered to decide on fishing seasons as against the earlier practice of fishing being a part of the irrigation and drainage departments domain. A proposal to ban commercial netting was also discussed.

The meeting discussed the low occupancy at forest and canal guest houses in the state and decided to hand the infrastructure over to the control of the Wildlife Development Corporation.

It was also decided to declare Ropar Wetland as a wildlife sanctuary/conservation reserve.

Allowing horse and camel safaris and eco trails were some ideas to boost eco-tourism.

The meeting also decided on various initiatives to promote ecological preservation, including creating a conservation reserve along 185 kms of the River Beas, starting from 52 head Talwara to Harike.

Selective fishing has also been allowed with the Punjab State Wildlife Board empowered to decide the fishing season instead of the Irrigation and Drainage Department.