Ranga's death calls for moving jumbo camps from forests

With the death of elephant Ranga, the demand for shifting jumbo camps outside the forests has grown stronger. 

With the death of elephant Ranga, the demand for shifting jumbo camps outside the forests has grown stronger. 

The forest department has been struggling for the last four years to get permission to shift the elephant camps outside the forest areas. The department wants to undertake the exercise in two key forests - Bandipur and Nagarahole - to start with. But it has been delayed because of procedural issues and red tapism.

“We had made a proposal to shift the Nagarhole camp elephants to the camp in Doddaharve and those in the Bandipur camp to the Nugu wildlife sanctuary. But it has been delayed as infrastructure to house the mahouts, kavadis, their families and children is still not ready,” said principal chief conservator of forests (wildlife) C Jayaram.

He said the proposal had been pending for over three years. For years, the camps have been inside the forests, which have all the facilities that these people are used to. It is taking time to create the infrastructure outside the forests.

Another forest official said Ranga’s death had upped the pressure on the government, including the public works department and the panchayats, to complete the work of constructing schools, houses and other facilities within the stipulated time. It has exposed the lapses in the government, he said.

“Even in death, Ranga has helped us. The incident has exposed the many loopholes like delay in building speed-breakers, imposing speed restrictions on use of roads inside the forests and shifting the elephant camps outside the forests,” said another forest official.

Elephant camps in Karnataka are at Bale and Mathigod in Nagarahole, Ramapura in Bandipur, Dubare in Kodagu, Doddaharve in Hunsur (Mysuru district), Sakrebail in Shivamogga, K Gudi in BRT tiger reserve and Pansoli camp in Kali tiger reserve.

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Ranga's death calls for moving jumbo camps from forests

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