Karnataka Govt sanctions Rs 30 cr to address man-animal conflict

Last Updated: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 18:56

Bangalore: Karnataka government has sanctioned Rs 30 crore to put up fences and dig trenches to contain man-animal conflict in the backdrop of the increasing menace of wild elephants, Forest Minister B Ramanatha Rai said Thursday.

According to officials, a Rs 109 crore comprehensive project spread over five years has also been drawn up to address the conflict.

Rai told reporters here that 71-km trenches had already been constructed in Nagarahole National Park, adding, another 41 km would be taken up after driving the remaining 34 wild elephants inside the area.

According to the Minister, Karnataka is estimated to have around 6,000 elephants.

Officials said besides trenches, steps have been taken, including on solar fences and appointment of temporary watchers to address the issue.

They said steps are being taken to grow bamboo and varieties of grass to meet food shortage and to desilt tanks in forest areas so that elephants get drinking water round the year.

Officials said 129 people have lost their lives in man-animal conflict in the last three years in Karnataka. A total of 520 people were also injured by wild animals so far since 2010. The attacks left 51 permanently disabled.

Wild animals were also at the receiving end of humans who have killed 203 of them from 2010-11 till June-end this year. These include 62 elephants, five tigers, 17 leopards and 33 deer.

Rai also said a cabinet sub-committee has been formed under his chairmanship to address the issue of encroachment of forest land.

He said he would soon convene a meeting of all departments, PSUs and corporates to discuss collective action to enhance forest cover. Panels would be formed at district levels under respective Deputy Commissioners to work towards increasing forest wealth.

Officials said "Sirichandana Vana Yojane" programme would be implemented to raise sandal plantations and for protection and maintenance of natural sandalwood growing areas.

PTI



First Published: Thursday, August 22, 2013 - 18:52

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