Residents of several villages in Sakleshpur taluk on Tuesday staged a protest demanding a permanent solution to the man-animal conflict in the region. They alleged that though they were ready to part with their land for the proposed elephant corridor, the government had been sitting on the proposal.
Residents of villages, including Arani, Mankanahalli, Balehalla, Boranamane, Yattalli, Kanginahare and Bajemane, took part in the protest. In a memorandum submitted to the Deputy Conservator of Forests of Hassan division, they said that many farmers had given to the government, in writing, that they would part with their land for the elephant corridor.
The previous Minister for Forests had visited these places and interacted with the farmers. However, the government had not taken a stand on the issue.
The farmers said that as they were not sure about the elephant corridor project, they had not been able to take up agriculture activities on the land.
“We have not been able to raise loans mortgaging the land or cultivate crops. We can’t be sure of getting yields even if we cultivate crops as elephant attacks are quite common in the area,” they said.
In the memorandum, they said that the government should purchase their land at Rs. 15 lakh per acre and rehabilitate the landless people residing in the elephant-affected areas.
DCF R.N. Lakshman received the memorandum and assured them their demands would be conveyed to higher-ups.