Andhra Pradesh

Officials told to prepare action plan in a week to check elephant menace

With the wile elephant menace continuing unabated in the district, the forest officials have mooted an action plan to tackle the man-animal conflict in the tri-State junction areas that includes the Koundinya Wildlife Sanctuary in Kuppam, Palamaner, Punganur and Chittoor West ranges, flanked by Tamil Nadu and Karnataka.

Chittoor Collector M. Hari Narayanan, during a meeting here on Thursday, asked the forest officials to prepare an action plan to address the perennial problems caused by wild elephants in the region which include the casualties among villagers and pachyderms, apart from huge crop losses.

Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar informed the Collector that the elephant population in the Koundinya elephant project zone in the western mandals which was only eight in 2012 had gone up to 90, registering more than ten-fold increase.

The official said since 2013, 10 people have died in incidents of man-animal conflict, apart from 13 pachyderms. “Fencing and trenches have been arranged in close to 4,500 hectares in the Palamaner range. However, wild elephants get separated from their herds frequently and venture into human habitations, attacking people and raiding crops in the forest fringe areas, despite sufficient water and fodder available inside forests,” said the DFO.

The incidents of animals moving closer to human habitations have increased owing to reduced movement of vehicles in view of the restrictions imposed to check the spread of coronavirus pandemic. DFO (East Wildlife) G. G. Narentheran observed that the close proximity of tri-State junction to the elephant corridor spreading over the forests of Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka resulted in the free movement of pachyderms.

Ex gratia for victims

As the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary and S.V. National Park in the Seshachalam hill ranges are closely connected to each other, the elephants are crossing the highways frequently and raiding crop fields. Farmers desperate to protect their crops are losing their lives in their attempts to shoo away the animals.

The Collector asked the DFOs to submit within a week the proposals, along with an action plan on strengthening the trenches and issues pertaining to payment of ex gratia to the kin of those died in elephant attacks, and compensation for crop loss.

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Printable version | Jul 30, 2021 3:42:52 PM |

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