The Kerala Independent Farmers’ Association (KIFA) has sought the intervention of the government in empowering civic bodies to cull wild boars which are posing a threat to the life and property of the public.
The State government had, in November 2020, requested the Union Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change to declare wild boars as vermin in specific areas of the State. The proposal was rejected and the State was asked to resolve the issue by empowering the civic bodies to deal with the issue, Alex Ozhukayil, chairman, KIFA, said.
Six months later, on June 17, 2021, the State replied that it had been trying to solve the issue through the panchayats since 2011. The Centre, on July 8, asked the State to give a detailed report on the steps adopted by the civic bodies to cull wild boars since 2011. However, the State was yet to submit the details, Mr. Alex said .
Though some States, including Telangana, had empowered panchayat presidents to address the issue, Kerala was yet to issue such a directive. The claim of the Forest Department that civic bodies had been empowered to deal with the wild boar menace was not credible as many civic body officials had said that they were unaware of any such order.
The refusal to answer RTI queries in this regard was the main evidence of the cover-up attempts being made by the Forest department in this regard. Hence, it was suspected that the efforts of the State government to declare the wild boar as a vermin were not sincere and its real intention was to delay such an action as far as possible, he alleged.
Mr. Alex said the organisation would continue its legal fight against this attitude of the Forest department till wild boars were declared as vermin.