Presidents of 20 villages near Coimbatore have been asked to identify works that needed to be taken up on a priority basis

To bring down the number of human-animal conflict, the district administration has decided to construct toilets and provide street lights. It decided to do so after a meeting it held with various department officials, Forest Department personnel and residents of the fringe villages in the Collectorate under the leadership of Collector Archana Patnaik.

According to T. Murugan, Project Officer, District Rural Development Agency, the villagers who participated in the meetings said that if the administration were to provide toilets, there would be no necessity for villagers to enter forest to attend to nature’s call. And that would bring down the chances of they getting attacked by animals.

Likewise, street lights and search lights would help the villagers move around safely after dusk.

He said that based on the feedback from the villagers, the administration in consultation with the Forest Department had decided to devise short-term and long-term goals to prevent human-animal conflict. The short term goals include the things mentioned and also roads and other infrastructure.

District Forest Officer, Coimbatore, M. Senthil Kumar said that long-term goals included writing to the State Government to increase compensation for the kin of the family of those killed in animal attack, to obtain permission to shoot down wild boar just as the Kerala Government had done so and much more.

The Forest Department was in the process of building a few more water troughs to provide water to the animals in Summer as one of the main reasons the animals venture out of forests was in search of water.

Borewells

The new troughs would get water from borewells, which were dug within the forests. Submersible motors would be used to pump the waters.

The new troughs would take the number of troughs to around 20.

Mr. Murugan said that to provide the necessary infrastructure, the administration had decided to utilise funds under all State Government schemes. It had also planned to provide community certificates to the villagers.

As a follow-up to the meeting, the presidents of the 20 villages had been asked to identify works that needed to be taken up on a priority basis. Once they return with the list, the administration would work on the same.

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