Villagers demand permanent solution to wild elephant menace

Man-elephant conflict increases in many parts of Kodagu district
Last Updated 19 July 2010, 18:05 IST
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The man-elephant conflict is on rise in the district.

Two persons were trampled to death by a wild elephant recently at Hampapura in North Kodagu. The elephant which was captured in Hassan was traced at Thithimathi.

“The rogue tuskers, which were caught in Hassan district, installed with radio collars and released at Bandipura are seen returning to cities, causing havoc. Capturing the rogue elephants are the only solution,” said Core Committee formed to solve the tusker menace member Cheranda Nanda Subbaiah.

In the last 10 years, 67 wild elephants were killed in Kodagu and 60 persons have lost their lives in wild elephant attack. In the last three years, 21 persons were trampled to death by the wild elephants.

In the meantime, Chief Minister B S Yeddyurappa had announced that the compensation to be paid for the deceased will be increased to Rs 2 lakh from Rs one lakh.
“Compensation alone will not solve the problems,” feels growers.

After capturing six rogue elephants two years ago, the capture of elephants have been suspended in the state. It is estimated that there would be atleast 15 to 20 wild elephants in the district. Of which, the state Wildlife Division Chief Conservator of Forest had given permission to capture two rogue elephants which is indulging in destruction at Siddapura, Palibetta, Thithimathi limits.

New proposal

In the meantime, the forest department had submitted a proposal of Rs 350 crore to put an end to the man-elephant conflict in the district. However, the government is silent over the proposal. “The state government is ready to release its share for the proposed plan. However, the Centre should release its share,” says Assembly Speaker K G Bopaiah.

“Acacia and teak are grown in 30,000 to 35,000 hectare in Nagarahole. Elephants are not getting enough food and water inside the forest. This year, several bamboo trees have died after flowering in the region, which would surely increase the elephant menace in the coming days. There is a need to grow those plants which provide food for the elephants,” Bopaiah added.

About Rs 1,500 crore had been spent by the Centre to check man-elephant conflict in the country for the last 19 years, said Bharathiya Girijana Shikshana Samsthe Director M B Prabhu.

(Published 19 July 2010, 18:05 IST)

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