Spikes at some places to end man-jumbo conflict: state

Elephants have been increasingly straying into human habitation in Karnataka. DH FILE PHOTO

The Karnataka government on Wednesday submitted to the Supreme Court that it has used spiked structures only at select places to deter wild elephants from entering human habitations and causing any harm to innocent citizens, including schoolchildren.

In an affidavit, the state government sought six months time to remove existing structures with spikes and replacing those with other effective barricading so that no life was lost or no injury was caused to the humans due to wild elephants.

The top court had earlier directed for removal of spikes in places frequented by wild elephants on a PIL filed by environment-conservationist, Prerna Singh Bindra, to avoid any cruelty to them.

“The state government has installed used rail barricades in some rough terrain including black cotton soils. However, there are still some small gaps in the
barricades, which cannot be sealed by these structures. In such areas, spikes were being used to deter elephants from entering habitations,” it said.

The state government further said the spiked structures were used where there was a high risk of conflict due to high population or where no other structure was effective.

“In most areas, it is less than 0.5 % of the total conflict boundary of the division. There has been no case of elephant injury due to these spiked structures in Karnataka,” the affidavit filed by the additional chief conservator of forest (wildlife) stated.

The work for removal of sharp objects from gates and special structures was under progress and these spikes are being modified in the special structures, it added.

The state government also explained that it has not issued any tender for fixing spiked barriers in the year 2018-19.

On September 17, the Inspector General of Forest (Project Elephant) of the Union government was granted a month’s time by the top court to give a report on the removal of spikes and discontinuing the fireballs for the safety of elephants.

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Spikes at some places to end man-jumbo conflict: state

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