- Spotted for the fourth time since Oct. 21
- KRS closed for tourists for four days
Srirangapatna: Even as the leopard attack on people in K.R. Nagar is still fresh in the minds of the people, the leopard which is playing hide and seek at KRS was spotted again on Nov. 5, forcing the authorities to close down the Dam for tourists for four days.
The leopard which was spotted at 9.10 pm on Nov. 5 and also on Nov. 6 at 1.05 pm near the Fisheries Department, made an official of the Department collapse on the spot.
It was on Oct. 21, the leopard was spotted for the first time in KRS and the Forest Department staff had placed a cage near Royal Orchid Hotel to trap it and had also conducted a combing operation, but in vain. On Oct. 27, the leopard was spotted by Karnataka Industrial Security Force (KISF) officer Santosh near the North Gate of the Dam, who reported it to the Forest Department officials.
Pandavapura Forest officials, who rushed to the spot, spotted the leopard at about 10 pm at the same spot but the leopard vanished later. The Forest staff then placed a cage at the spot, where the leopard was sighted and also conducted a combing operation the next day. The Forest officials then closed the park near the North Gate and also stopped the Musical Fountain besides restricting tourist entry at this area.
KRS closed for tourists
Cauvery Neeravari Nigam Limited (CNNL) Managing Director (MD) Shankaregowda, who spoke to Star of Mysore yesterday said “Yes, the leopard was spotted yesterday (Nov. 5) and I visited the Dam and held talks with the CNNL officials. Arrangements have been made to place the third cage and as a precautionary measure, entry of tourists to the Dam has been completely banned for three to four days. From tomorrow (Nov. 7), earth excavating machines will be deployed to remove overgrown bushes and weeds and I have asked the officials to report on the number of CCTV cameras that are working in the vicinity of KRS Reservoir. Steps will be taken to ensure that such incidents will not repeat.”
Meanwhile, public have alleged negligence on the part of CNNL and Forest officials for the delay to capture the leopard. They said that though the leopard was first spotted on Oct. 21, the officials did not bother to clear overgrown bushes and weeds in the dam vicinity which has resulted in the leopard being spotted again and again.
Apart from tourists, the lives of the staff working at Brindavan Gardens is at risk and the officials also allowed tourists to enter the Dam without the leopard being captured, the public alleged and added that the authorities concerned were playing with the lives of tourists and their own staff.
CNNL Assistant Executive Engineer (AEE) Farooq Abu, speaking to SOM, said that as the leopard was spotted, entry of tourists to the Dam has been completely banned since 6 pm yesterday (Nov. 6) and it has been decided to ban entry of tourists tomorrow (Nov. 7) also.
He further said that the cage which was placed earlier has been shifted to the spot, where it was spotted and added that future course of action will be decided only after holding talks with the higher officials and Forest Department authorities.
Fall in revenue
Following frequent sightings of the leopard and closure of the park and the Musical Fountain since 15 days, CNNL has suffered a loss of about Rs. 20 lakh. Also, closure of the Dam for four more days will also result in more loss.
The officials are responsible for the loss. If they had cleared overgrown bushes and weeds and had they maintained the CCTV cameras, it would have not taken so many days to capture the elusive leopard, opined public.