Tusker menace: Centre tells K'taka to use mix methods

The Union government said the interstate border in three states should be kept open to ensure the movements of elephants safely across the landscape, to avoid human-animal conflict. File photo

The Centre has told the Supreme Court that it has suggested the Karnataka government to consider using a mix of methods like elephant proof trenches, solar and rail fencing to prevent tusker from coming out of forest areas.

It has found that in the states of Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, traditional methods like the beating of drums, honey bees, chilli smoke, bursting of crackers, and 'hulla' party were being used for driving and guiding elephants from crop fields without causing injury to them.

The Union government said the interstate border in three states should be kept open to ensure the movements of elephants safely across the landscape, to avoid human-animal conflict.

In an affidavit, Noyal Thomas, working as Inspector General of Forest (Project Elephant), said, "During the visit to these states, extensive damage caused by wild elephants to life and property of villagers living in and around the forest areas in all these states have also been reported. More than 2636 people have been killed by a wild elephant in the last nine years whereas about 429 elephants have been killed at the same time."

The top court had asked Thomas to give a report on the removal of spikes and discontinuing fireballs for the safety of elephants in the four states, acting on a PIL filed by activist Prerna Singh Bindra.

After having visited all the four states, the officer said the spikes have been removed from border and fencing. In Karnataka, hanging solar fencing and used rail fencing were being implemented in those areas. He said the Karnataka government has sought to procure used rail fencing at a reasonable cost to mitigate human-animal conflict.

After taking the affidavit into consideration, a bench of Justices Madan B Lokur and Deepak Gupta noted the petition was essentially for the formation of a special committee to assist the Union government and the states' forest departments to formulate and implement measures to effectively deal with conflicts with elephants occurring in all parts of the country and also involving, through active participation, of all relevant stakeholders and experts.

The court asked Additional Solicitor General to take instructions, "so that once and for all some corrective and remedial measures are taken and elephants in different parts of the country are not subject to any violence". It put the matter for consideration on November 12.

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Tusker menace: Centre tells K'taka to use mix methods

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