Demonetisation may cost them dear

Curbs on cash withdrawal is threatening to deny feed to deer at Hill Palace park

Published - November 22, 2016 08:43 am IST - KOCHI:

There are 226 spotted deer and 27 sambar deer at the one-and-a-half-acre enclosure on the Hill Palace campus at Thripunithura.

There are 226 spotted deer and 27 sambar deer at the one-and-a-half-acre enclosure on the Hill Palace campus at Thripunithura.

Demonetisation is likely to hit captive animals very dearly. Hundreds of spotted deer and sambar deer of the deer park on Hill Palace campus, Thripunithura, may go hungry if the restriction on cash withdrawal from banks continues beyond the month end. There are 226 spotted deer and 27 sambar deer at the one-and-a-half-acre enclosure on the campus.

The weekly ceiling of Rs.24,000 on withdrawal of cash from banks is threatening to deny feed to the caged animals.

Each month, the Centre for Heritage Studies (CHS), which is managing the deer park, pays a significant amount for the purchase of fodder and cattle feed. If the restrictions are not eased, it could lead to a possible stoppage of the purchase of feed.

The monthly payment for fodder and feed, which would come to around Rs.1.25 lakh, is advanced to the agencies concerned on the first day of every month. Since the payment for the current month was paid earlier, feed and fodder would be available till this month end.

“If the contractor who supplies the fodder and the agency from where the feed is purchased refuse to accept the cheques, as there is a ceiling on withdrawal, the animals may go hungry,” said an official of the CHS.

Salary not paid

The CHS functioning from the Hill Palace Campus is already reeling under severe financial crisis and the salary of the 39 casual labourers could not be disbursed last week. A cheque issued to a worker for clearing some dangerously hanging branches of trees had to be presented twice.

When the Centre imposed the restriction, the labourers who sweated it out under the sun to keep the campus and museum clean and presentable for the visitors had to go without the wages last week. Uncertainty looms large over the payment of salary for the coming weeks too. The workers are paid Rs.350 a day and by weekend, the CHS needs around Rs.75,000 for their wages. It has become impossible to meet the other expenses too with the curb on cash withdrawal, said the Registrar of CHS.

Besides the casual workers, the salary of the Director General, guest faculty, teachers and regular employees of the CHS are paid in cash, which is monthly withdrawn from the bank. The ceiling may affect the salary disbursement too. “If the salaries have to be credited to their personal bank accounts, the Board of Management of the CHS will have to take a decision on it ,” he said.

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