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Rs. 44 crore to end man-animal conflict

Special Correspondent
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Minister for Forests and Environment inaugurates camp for kumki elephants

Students taking photograph with Nanjan, a kumki elephant, at the inauguration of the kumki elephants camp at Chadivayal at the foothills of Siruvani in Coimbatore on Wednesday.– Photo: M. Periasamy
Students taking photograph with Nanjan, a kumki elephant, at the inauguration of the kumki elephants camp at Chadivayal at the foothills of Siruvani in Coimbatore on Wednesday.– Photo: M. Periasamy

State Government will initiate measures to end man-animal conflict and Rs. 44 crore will be spent for the purpose over the next four years, said K.T. Pachamal, Minister for Forests and Environment on Wednesday.

He was inaugurating a camp for two kumki elephants at Chadivayal at the foot hills of Siruvani.

This is the first ever kumki camp to be opened outside a Wildlife Sanctuary or a tiger reserve. The State has two elephant camps at Anamalai and Mudumalai. The one inaugurated at Chadivayal becomes the first elephant camp after Independence and the one outside wildlife sanctuary or a tiger reserve.Mr. Pachamal said that last year Rs. 32 crore was spent to end such conflicts.

The water resources in the forests were being renewed with a financial assistance from NABARD, he said. During the current year, Rs. 100 crore would be spent. He said that a truck, a mini truck, two pick-up cargo vans for the Elephant Protection Squad, two sheds for the elephants to rest, four quarters for the mahouts and cavadis, water supply provision, kitchen, store room and all other logistics have been provided at Chadivayal at a cost of nearly Rs 70 lakhs. The re-deployment of kumkis at Coimbatore will help in mitigating man animal conflicts at a shortest possible reaction time. Earlier, the kumkis had to be brought either from Anamalai or Mudumalai, which consumed a lot of time. He asked people to change their cropping pattern.

Farmers should shift to green chilli, and tobacco as sugarcane, maize, and plantains would attract elephants towards the farms. Mr. Pachamal also recalled that the Government had enhanced the compensation for crop raid from Rs 10,000 to Rs 25,000 and from Rs 1.5 lakh to Rs 3 lakhs for loss of lives.

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