By Tauheed Ahmad
Srinagar, July05: In a major development aimed at addressing the plight of victims affected by human-wildlife conflict, the Jammu and Kashmir government has announced a substantial enhancement of ex-gratia relief. The move comes in response to the increasing incidents of conflicts between humans and wildlife, which have had devastating consequences for individuals and communities across the nation. Govt hikes ex-gratia relief of human-wildlife conflict victims
According to an order issued by the Forest, Ecology & Environment Department Jammu and Kashmir, the revised ex-gratia relief package includes significantly increased compensation amounts for victims of human-wildlife conflict. The order specifies that in the case of death or permanent incapacitation caused by wildlife encounters, the relief amount has been raised to 5 lakh rupees. This substantial increase in compensation aims to address the financial hardships faced by the families of those who have lost their lives or have been permanently disabled due to such conflicts.
Furthermore, for cases of grievous injuries caused by wildlife, the ex-gratia relief amount has been raised to 2 lakh rupees. This enhancement acknowledges the severe physical and emotional trauma endured by individuals who suffer grave injuries and seeks to provide them with adequate support during their recovery process.
The order also highlights that victims who sustain minor injuries requiring medical treatment will now receive a relief amount of 25,000 rupees. This provision aims to cover the medical expenses incurred by individuals affected by minor injuries caused by human-wildlife conflicts.
‘Recognizing the pressing need to address the plight of human wildlife victims, this long-awaited measure promises to be highly beneficial to ease the financial toll of families particularly living in far flung areas,’ Suhail Ahmad, Wildlife Warden Technical Kashmir division said.
Notably, the department has ensured that the ex-gratia relief is on par with the center’s provisions, ensuring equal treatment for all victims. This remarkable step reaffirms the government’s commitment to the welfare and safety of its citizens, he added.
‘The government’s decision to enhance compensation amounts are expected to alleviate the financial burdens faced by victims, offering some respite during challenging times, he said.
To ensure the efficient disbursal of ex-gratia relief, the concerned officers of the department will work in coordination with committee members to streamline the application and verification process. This collaborative effort seeks to expedite the financial assistance to the victims, ensuring they receive timely support, order reads.
The revised ex-gratia relief package is poised to come into effect from June 6th, 2023, as per the decision taken during the 4th wildlife board meeting of Jammu and Kashmir held in Srinagar—providing hope and assistance to individuals and communities affected by human-wildlife conflicts throughout the J&K UT.