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Govt sets up leopard task force for Bengaluru; minister seeks report on man-elephant conflict

Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre, who held a meeting with senior officials of the department, said the leopard task force will begin functioning in two days.
Last Updated : 23 November 2023, 15:10 IST
Last Updated : 23 November 2023, 15:10 IST

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Bengaluru: The state government on Thursday set up a task force to address concerns over the sightings of leopards in Bengaluru while Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Eshwar B Khandre urged officials to take steps to prevent such incidents during man-elephant conflicts.

Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre, who held a meeting with senior officials of the department, said the task force will begin functioning in two days. "There are repeated sightings of leopards on the outskirts of the city. We have issued an order for setting up a task force which will begin functioning within the next two days," he said.

The department's order said the task force will cover Kaggalipura, Anekal, Yelahanka, Hosakote, K R Puram ranges in Bengaluru Urban and Rural Divisions. It cited the January 2023 notification to explain the functions of the task force.

Four teams—each comprising two guards, one driver and 10 outsourced staff will—will keep a tab on leopard movements by regularly visiting the areas where sightings have been reported. They will report to the chief conservator of forests who will coordinate with the deputy commissioner.

A 24x7 control room will be set up by the department and will be accessible to the public through a helpline. The principal chief conservator of forests (head of forest force) will ensure availability of the necessary equipment.

Report on elephant conflict

Khandre on Thursday condoled the death of Kartik, a member of the elephant task force, and sought a report on the last two years of man-elephant conflicts in the state. He urged officials to assess the situation and develop preventive measures.

"Come up with solutions based on the knowledge of the areas most affected by elephant menace. The seasons when elephants frequently visit the human habitats and the reasons for the high incidence of deaths in some places should be studied," he said.

The minister also urged the officials to create awareness on elephant behaviour among the villages bordering the forest areas. He said works related to setting up railway barricades, solar fences and trenches should be expedited and officials who delay the same will be held responsible.

In a separate order the department appointed nodal officers for nine districts: Kolar (Geethanjali), Tumkur (Smita Bijjur), Bengaluru Rural (Vanashree Vipin Singh), Ramanagar (Anil Kumar Ratan), Hassan (Kumar Puishkar), Chikmagalur (Vijay Mohan Raj), Mysuru (Saswati Mishra), Chamarajanagar (Bishwajit Mishra) and Kodagu (Brijesh Kumar).

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Published 23 November 2023, 15:10 IST

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