The Wildlife Protection Society has urged Forest Minister Benoy Viswam to implement a “man-elephant co-existence plan” to prevent wild elephants from entering human habitations and farmlands that had resulted in the death of six persons in the last couple of months in the district.
The Minister has called a meeting of farmers' organisations and officials to discuss the issue at Mannarkkad on Friday.
In a letter to the Minister on Wednesday, coordinator S. Guruvayurappan said that “human death due to wild elephant attack is increasing where the elephant movement is obstructed or hindrance made by human beings. This is more severe in solar or electric power-fenced areas. In the third quarter of this year, half a dozen people were killed by wild elephants in Palakkad district. More than a dozen people died in similar incidents in the last one-and-a-half years in Mannarkkad and Attappady areas alone. This has happened after the installation of solar electric fencing by private land owners, including by Attappady wind farms. Most of the victims are tribal people.”
The letter said that the electric fences erected by the Forest Department were not working due to lack of maintenance. This had resulted in heavy loss of money to the government. Wherever it was functioning, the elephants moved to nearby areas having farmlands destroying crops.