Amenities at the school to be improved on a war- footing
Department of Forest has sighted two panther cubs that are about one-year-old on the sea-ward side of the hillock on which the Tribal Welfare Boys Residential School, Marikavalasa has been established.
Territorial Divisional Forest Officer P. Rammohan Rao told The Hindu that after a panther attacked a VII Standard tribal boy on the school premises last week, they set up two monitoring units in the vicinity and sighted these cubs.
They seem to have settled in the region along with their mother, he added.
A dumping yard nearby was a fertile preying ground for the panthers as wild boars and pigs come there to feast on eatables available in the muddy pockets, he explained.
Kambalakonda Reserve Forest has a presence of a male panther, hence there was all possibility of the female living in that region for quite sometime.
The tribal boy Bharat was taken to the Indira Gandhi Zoological to identify exactly which kind of animal had attacked him and he showed a panther, Mr. Rammohan said.
The Reserve Forest being very close to the School, such kind of sighting was common, he observed.
Meanwhile, Tribal Welfare Minister P. Balaraju spent a night in the hostel there to know the ground reality about amenities at the residential school on Wednesday-Thursday.
At a review meeting with officials at Circuit House he ordered improvement of amenities on a war-footing.
The Minister said that non-availability of water in the bathrooms had led to the incident as the boys were forced to go outside to answer nature's call.
During the Sankranti holidays repairs would be carried out to ensure water was available at all places on the premises, he added.
The ITDA Project Officer (Incharge) S. Satyanarayana and Tribal Welfare Deputy Director Mallikarjun Reddy were present at the meeting.