Kupwara: The Wildlife Department in north Kashmir’s Kupwara district is ill-equipped to handle the growing instances of human-animal conflict.
To tackle the conflict, Kupwara district not only lacks rescue vans but the strength of employees too has been a challenge for the department.
Only six permanent employees of the Wildlife Department are posted in Kupwara while for over a decade, 25 casual labourers have been offering their services to the department on meager wages.
“I along with other temporary employees have given our youth to this department but to no avail. We do not get any specific salary regularly. We get a few bucks after 3 to 4 months,” a temporary employee said. “A total of 51 candidates are under consideration for regularisation across north Kashmir. However, some blue-eyed candidates have been drafted into the final list, which is open loot of our rights.”
Range Officer Wildlife Department Kupwara, Ghulam Mohiuddin said that the department was equipped with the machinery and a rescue van had been sanctioned for Kupwara district, which it would get in a month or so.
Officials said 55 incidents of human-animal conflict were reported in the district in 2022 during which three minors had lost their lives while 25 persons were injured.
They said that during the year, 35 wild animals were also rescued across Langate, Handwara, and Kupwara blocks of the district that were later released in the dense forests.