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Karnataka Environment Minister seeks MoEF nod for funds to check elephant attack, up green cover

Khandre met MInister for Forest, Environment and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav in New Delhi where briefed about the Rs 1378 crore funds available in the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) allocated to Karnataka.
Last Updated : 25 June 2024, 11:46 IST

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Bangalore: Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Eshwar B Khandre on Tuesday requested the Union environment ministry to release Rs 200 crore from the Rs 1378 crore funds allocated to Karnataka for works related to man-elephant conflict and afforestation.

Khandre met MInister for Forest, Environment and Climate Change Bhupender Yadav in New Delhi where briefed about the Rs 1378 crore funds available in the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) allocated to Karnataka.

The minister said Karnataka was proud of the fact that it harbours 25% of the country's elephant population but was worried about the rising conflicts. "(Elephant population) has also put the state on toes due to increased man-elephant conflicts. The state is losing almost 50 human lives on an average every year in these conflicts," he said.

Khandre said Karnataka has a man-elephant conflict measure in place in the form of rail barricades. He said the Centre has been supporting the afforestation and wildlife conservation efforts which were being implemented under the CAMPA.

"I would like to bring to your kind notice that at present, the funds to the tune (of) Rs 1378 crore are available. The state steering committee has submitted a plan for Rs 371 crore and it is learnt that sanction to the same is under consideration. I humbly request you to allocate and sanction Rs 100 crore for furthering afforestation activities and another Rs 100 crore for mitigating man-elephant conflict problem through erecting rail barricades," the letter said.

The forest department in August 2023 announced that Karnataka has 6395 elephants, a considerable increase from the 6049 individuals estimated in 2017. However, the pride of hosting such a huge population of the large animals has come at a cost.

Along with 50 deaths of humans, damage to crops and property have been reported. At the same time, over 70 elephants are dying every year with 287 elephant deaths recorded between 2021 and mid 2024.

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Published 25 June 2024, 11:46 IST

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