Govt may shift crop-raiding deer from Yelburga

Forest Minister Ramanath Rai has announced that he would consider the request of the members to translocate blackbucks that raid crops in Koppal district.

With the members cornering the minister in the Council, over the antelopes that raid crops in Yelburga taluk of Koppal district, the latter seemed to have no other alternative but to state that he would consider the request of BJP member Achar Halappa Basappa to translocate the blackbucks to forest areas.

Basappa had sought to know what action had been taken by the government to prevent blackbucks from raiding the crops. When the minister mentioned about the compensation awarded to farmers, the member said that these animals had strayed into places belonging to farmers.

“The farmers cannot take any action as deers are protected under the Wildlife Act. Take them to forest areas,” he said.

The minister made a vain bid to convince Basappa that the animals belong to that place and cannot be shifted. He expressed his helplessness saying, “How can we shift over 10,000 deers? We too have wild boar and monkey menace in our place. Should we release them all in Koppal?”

The other members of the Opposition cornered him, saying that being a minister, he cannot give such a reply. They made several suggestions to address the issue. JD(S) leader M C Nanaiah suggested that the minister discuss with the officials and create a deer park by allocating about 200 acres.

“Translocate them to Bandipur or Nagarahole national parks where tigers are straying out of the forest for food. This will serve a dual purpose. The predators will get food and the farmers in Koppal will be relieved,” suggested BJP member G Madhusudan.

The minister tried to explain that these animals were very sensitive and could not be shifted and might die in the process. But the members were not ready to listen and said they were answerable to the people.

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