Mumbai

Kombadbhuje on high alert after GVK guard spots leopard

Pictures of the leopard were circulated on WhatsApp.

Pictures of the leopard were circulated on WhatsApp.  

Villagers believe it a plot to get area vacated for airport project; first spotting after 2011, say officials

After a GVK security guard spotted a leopard near the the Navi Mumbai airport office in Kombadbhuje, residents of the area have been alerted by forest officers.

“A security guard at GVK informed us that he spotted a leopard on Sunday night. We have since alerted the residents nearby and also started night patrolling between Kombadbhuje and Waghivali. However, no one has seen or heard about the leopard after that incident,” Shashank Kadam, Uran forest range officer, said.

A WhatsApp message along with a video and a photo has gone viral among the residents, instilling fear in them. However, some of them also suspect it to be a plot to get the villages vacated for the airport project.

“Some of the villagers are yet to leave their homes as they have been having issues with CIDCO. GVK has already started work on some parts of the project and work has been sub-contracted too. We suspect that this could be fake news spread to make us feel scared so that we leave the villages at the earliest,” a villager said.

“We are using fire crackers in the area so that if the leopard is still around, it goes back to its habitat. We have alerted the residents and asked them not to move around alone in the dark. They have also been asked to alert forest officers immediately if they spot the animal,” assistant conservator forest officer Nandkishor Kupte said. Forest officers believe the leopard came from Karnala side.

“In 2011, a leopard had once entered Karanjade in Uran. It entered a house and was stuck there until it was rescued successfully. After that no leopard has been spotted in this area,” Mr. Kadam said.

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Printable version | May 28, 2020 10:56:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/kombadbhuje-on-high-alert-after-gvk-guard-spots-leopard/article31044762.ece

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