Forest department plans a strong fence to check jumbo menace

` 30 crore earmarked for project: Rai

Forest department plans a strong fence to check jumbo menace

Minister for Forest and Ecology Ramanath Rai has said that the government was determined to put an end to elephant menace and the forest department is planning to set up fences made of railway tracks.

Speaking to mediapersons after holding talks with the officials at Nisargadhama near Kushalnagar on Tuesday, he said there are 6000 elephants in the forest of Karnataka.

The elephant-humanbeing conflict is common on the periphery of the forest. There is a need to find a permanent solution to the menace. As Kodagu receives heavy rain, the trenches laid get damaged. As a result, trenches are not of much use in the district.

The Minister said "Currently what we are following is the solar fencing and elephant-proof trenches. But recent incidents have proved that these measures are inadequate. Hence we have decided to go in for fences that are made of railway tracks."

The Minister said “those families who have been residing on Paisari and forest land for generations will not be vacated. On the directions of the Supreme Court and High Court, we are planning to lay elephant corridor near Sakleshpura.” Villagers from Basavanahalli appealed to the minister not to vacate them.

Grievances meet

Speaking at a growers convention held at Ammathi, the Minister said that Rs 30 crore has been earmarked to check wild elephant menace. Grower Col C P Muthanna said “lack of coordination among officials have also aggravated elephant menace. There is a need to appoint a permanent forest officer to check the menace in the district. Owing to shortage of fodder, the elephants have started entering villages situated on the periphery of the forest.”

MLC M C Nanaiah said that the forest department has failed in conserving the forest. There is a need to catch rogue elephants.

He said tribals have close affinity with wild elephants. There is a need to include them in the task force constituted for checking the elephants.

Mollera Subhash Bheemaiah said “small farmers have incurred loss in paddy, following elephant menace. Task Force has been constituted to chase elephants back to forest. However, the task force has no arms. We want the department to catch wild elephants and tame them.”

When the minister visited Vaddara Madu, Soolekolli, Neeru Kolli, the villagers expressed their grievances. They said “wild elephant menace is on rise in the region. There is a need to widen the trenches laid inside the forest.”

Forestry College

The students of College of Forestry have appealed to the Minister to announce scholarship for the PG students of College of Forestry.

They also urged the government to fill vacant posts in the college, to which, the Minister promised to take a decision at the government level.

Principal Conservator of Forest Deepak Sharma, Wildlife conservator G S Prabhu, Virajpet DFO Malathi Priya and others were present.

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