In a rare incident, two goats were ‘arrested’ in Huzurabad, Karimnagar district, Telangana on Tuesday for eating on saplings planted by the government under the ‘Telanganaku Haritha Haram’ initiative.
The involved goats were seen to be repeat offenders and were rescued after the owner had to pay a fine of Rs 1,000.
According to NGO ‘Save the Trees’, the goats had been regularly destroying the wild almond saplings planted under the Huzurabad municipality.
The NGO had planted about 980 wild almond saplings at several public offices and hospitals. However, the goats set out to be a hazard and ate away at least 250 of them.
The NGO had protested about the goat menace to the police several times. However, on Tuesday, they caught the indicted red-handed and gave them over to the police of Karimnagar, Telangana State.
“We had set around 980 wild almond trees at school, hospital and police station bases using our own money.
We had struggled hard to acquire these plants, and then these goats began to come in and eat our plants,” said Kyasa Vikranth, a member of Save the Trees, reported The New Indian Express.
According to The Hindu, the goats were rescued after their owner, Dornakonda Rajaiah, a native of Kummariwada, Karimnagar was charged to pay a fine of Rs 1,000 to release the two goats.
Police warned Rajaiah to feed his goats on the outskirts of the town or to feed the animals at his house, without leaving them unsupervised.
Telangana Haritha Haram is a state government initiative to improve the forest spread in the state to the mandated 33% as advocated by the Union government.
As part of the programme, the government has allocated crores of rupees to plant saplings and maintain them.
All the departments in the state government are stakeholders in the initiative. Each department has been granted a set target of planting saplings and secure their endurance.