Staff Correspondent

Administration has failed to tackle the problem: villagers

  • One person hurt in elephant attack in Alur taluk on Tuesday
  • Forest department has proposed measures to contain the menace

    HASSAN: While people in Malnad region are worried about

    elephant attacks, those in Arsikere taluk are concerned over attack by wild bears. Despite the Forest department's efforts, the problem is getting complicated by the day.

    Basavaraju of Shiravara village in Alur taluk was injured on Tuesday when a rogue elephant attacked him. He was admitted to Sri Chamarajendra District Hospital immediately and is recuperating.

    Villagers of Kaganur, Kakkehalli, Shiravara and Hemmige have alleged that the failure of the district administration and the Forest department in addressing the problem was the reason for recurrence of such incidents.

    Wild elephants straying in Alur, Sakleshpur and Arkalgud regions are attacking people who come in their way. Nine persons have died and many injured in elephant attacks in the past four years. According to the Forest department sources, the problem has become serious with destruction of thick forests to create settlements and urban infrastructure. Swamps, water bodies and forests areas had become dumping ground for waste such as highly toxic substances, they said.

    Encroachment of forestland for cultivation and laying of roads and pipelines to transport petroleum products had affected the elephant corridor.

    Elephants continued to enter the corridor without knowing that it had been encroached upon, they said.

    The department has proposed six short-term measures to contain the menace

    setting up of 42 elephant scaring camps in Sakelshpur, Alur, Yesalur and Arkalgud regions; erecting 60 km solar fencing and digging of 10 km elephant proof trench along the forest boundary; controlling movement of elephants into private lands; supplying more vehicles, arms, and walkie-talkies for the staff; construction of 43 check dams and 5 "nala" bunds; and removing silt accumulated in various tanks in the forest area to provide drinking water for wild elephants.

    It has also been proposed to translocate, capture and relocate all the 20 wild elephants to Bhadra Wild Life Sanctuary, which can accommodate another 200 elephants.

    The authorities said that the Forest department had decided to trap and translocate elephants that attacked crops in the area by spending Rs. 1.54 crore.

    The department had identified 22 elephants that had been creating problems and decided to spend Rs. 7 lakh for trapping and shifting them.

    H.M. Vishwanath, Sakleshpur MLA, raised the issue in the District Vigilance and Monitoring Committee meeting held in Hassan on Monday. It was chaired by H.D. Deve Gowda, Hassan MP.

    Arsikere MLA, Basavaraju, raised the issue of animal attacks in the meeting and exhorted Mr. Gowda to address the problem soon.