Union forest minister accuses Kerala of ignoring man-animal conflicts

The man-animal conflicts of Wayanad has been snowballing into a major political row.
Last Updated 22 February 2024, 11:29 IST

Thiruvananthapuram: Union minister for forest and environment Bhupender Yadav has accused that the Kerala government and local representatives of Wayanad have been ignoring the escalating man-animal conflict and it  has led to people losing lives.

Yadav who visited Wayand as well as adjoining Bandipur in view of the recent back to back deaths of four persons in wild animal attacks at Wayanad,  also said that the chief wildlife wardens were empowered to even kill problematic animals.

The Kerala government should diligently use the power to protect the people, especially farmers, he said.

Yadan told reporters that he was unaware of the criticisms raised by the opposition BJP in Karnataka against the Karnataka government's decision to grant Rs 15 lakh compensation to the family of a person in Wayanad who was killed by a wild elephant that was translocated to Bandipur from Hassan.

The man-animal conflicts of Wayanad has been snowballing into a political row especially since Congress top leader Rahul Gandhi is representing the constituency in the Lok Sabha. The BJP has been accusing Rahul as well as the left-front government in Kerala of not taking effective steps to address the issue.

"The Kerala government and local representatives of Wayanad and the adjoining regions have ignored the escalating man-animal conflict. This is rather unfortunate and has led to people losing lives. We request the state to be prompt in its response so that lives can be saved and wildlife can flourish,' Yadav said in a tweet.

Calls for better inter-state coordination

Yadav, who held talks with  Kerala forest minister A K Saseendran and top officials of the forests department, said better coordination among Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu on wildlife issues were required. The Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History at Coimbatore would be developed as a centre for handholding for  the three states on mitigation of man-animal conflicts.

He also said that early warning and tracking systems would be enhanced using modern technologies. Wildlife Institute of India will assist the states in preparing animal corridor plans. The centre already sanctioned Rs. 15.82 crore during this fiscal to Kerala for various schemes and would consider more funding for mitigation measures, said the union minister.

Yadav had called on families of the wild animal attack victims and assured all support from the centre.

(Published 22 February 2024, 11:29 IST)

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