The government has prepared an action plan to check attacks on people and crops by wild animals in different parts of the State, Food Minister C. Divakaran told the Assembly on Thursday.
Responding to a call attention motion from Aryadan Mohammed (Congress), the Minister said the Rs. 10.8 crore action plan would be implemented in the State with assistance from the National Bank for Rural Development (NABARD). Wild elephants and wild boars were a major menace in different parts of the State, particularly in areas adjacent to the forests and several persons had lost their lives in attacks by the wild animals. The government had taken up solar fencing and digging of trenches to check the menace, but to no avail, the Minister said.
Earlier, moving the motion, Mr. Mohammed said there were provisions in the Wild Life (Protection) Act of 1972 for shooting the wild animals if they posed a threat to the lives of people. As many as 10 persons had lost their lives in the Nilambur range alone over the last one year in elephant attacks. Crops worth crores of rupees too had been lost in attacks by wild elephants and wild boars during the period. Solar fences and trenches were ineffective in checking them. Therefore, the government should permit use of fire arms both the scare them away and kill the dangerous ones, the Congress member said.
Mr. Divakaran, who was deputising for Forest Minister Benoy Viswam, said the government was ready to do everything within the law to check the wild animal menace. The government had raised the compensation for the victims and had also taken several measures to prevent their intrusion into human habitations. However, if these measures were insufficient as had been pointed out by Mr. Mohammed, further action could be contemplated within the limits of law, he said.