Patna: The Patna High Court has asked the Centre to shift over 25,000 wild blue bulls (Nilgais) from Bhojpur, Buxar, Rohtas and Kaimur districts to forest reserves.
A divisional bench of justices P C Verma and A K Trivedi, while hearing a PIL filed by NGO Gram Gaurav Sansthan and others, directed the Union Forest and Environment Ministry to take early steps in this regard.
The court passed the order on Tuesday. The petitioners sought the court`s intervention to safeguard crops worth over Rs 300 crore from thousands of blue bulls moving in the areas between the Koelwar bridge (Bhojpur) and the Buxar-Ballia bridge.
"The nilgais were declared wild animals as per the Wild Life Protection Act, 1972 without specifying protected areas for them, and as a result of it, the Nilgais destroy standing crops in these areas," the petitioners argued.
"This is one of the main reasons for price hike of pulses and oil in Bihar," they added.
The petitioners argued that as nilgais do not have any natural forest habitat of their own, they survive on the vegetation available in rural areas close to human habitats, thus endangering crops grown by farmers in the process.