ADILABAD: The ‘migrant’ tigers from Maharashtra are sending shivers down the spines of local farmers, forcing them to leave their podu lands and relocate to safer places in search of livelihoods. These farmers are unable to cultivate their lands due to utter fear, following frequent sightings of big cats and incidences of their attacks on animals and humans.
In addition to that, the farmers are not being allowed to cultivate their podu lands by forest officials in many villages in Bejjur, Penchikapet, and Dahegam mandals in Komaram Bheem Asifabad district.
It is said that forest officials are planting trees in nearly 200 hectares of land including barren government lands, forest lands and podu lands under Haritha Haram programme in the Kagaznagar division.
Some tigers migrated to Telangana forests from Tadoba Andhari Tiger Reserve in Maharashtra and are moving in Kagaznagar division. A few days ago, a tiger killed three cows near Lodpalli village in Penchikalpet mandal.
Taking advantage of the situation, forest officials are allegedly stopping the farmers, who are waiting for pattats to be issued by the state government, from cultivating the podu lands.
There are strong allegations that forest officials are deliberately not making serious efforts to trap the furious tiger named A2 that killed two persons within a month last year though the tiger has been moving frequently on the outskirts of villages and killing animals regularly, causing much panic among the locals.
Many podu farmers are migrating to other villages in neighbouring mandals in search of agriculture works and livelihood since they are not being allowed to cultivate their podu lands by the forest officials and also due to regular sighting of tigers that were migrated into Kagaznagar division of Telangana from the bordering Maharashtra.
People of nearly 30-40 villages are panic-gripped with the tigers’ movement in their area and are apprehensive of possible attacks on human beings in Penchiklapet, Bejjur and Dahegam mandals.
Tiger movement is seen near Lodpalli, Digada, Loha, Gollaguda and Kondapalli villages.
According to unofficial sources, podu land cultivation has been stopped in nearly 14 villages in Kharif season in Kagaznagar division. There are reports that some families in Gollaguda of Kondapalli village of Penchikpalpet mandal have migrated to neighbouring mandals in search of agricultural works.
Linganna of Gollaguda village in Kondapalli gram panchayat of Penchikaplet mandal said many small and marginal farmers who had been depending on podu lands and cultivating for the last 30 years were now sitting idle, adding that many farmers were panicked with the increased tiger movement near their lands.
Jaji Srinivas of Lodpalli village regretted that the tigers that migrated to their area from Maharashtra were now forcing local farmers cultivating podu lands to migrate to other places in search of livelihood....