Karnataka

Locals, planters demand permanent solution to man-animal conflict in Sakaleshpur taluk

People’s representatives, planters and residents of Sakaleshpur taluk staged a protest at Bage village on Monday demanding a permanent solution to the man-elephant conflict in the taluk. Hundreds of planters, farmers and agriculture labourers took part in the protest.

More than 60 elephants have been roaming in estates of Sakaleshpur, Alur and Belur taluks. A person was trampled to death near Ballupete last week. Another lady suffered serious injuries in a similar incident.

In the last 10 years, more than 75 people have died in elephant attacks in the district.

The protesters alleged that neither the officers of the Forest Department nor the State Government had understood the seriousness of the problem being faced by the public. The wild tuskers have been roaming in villages throughout the day and night, leaving the residents in fear. In some incidents, the elephants had barged into houses and godowns to take away food grains.  

Sakaleshpur MLA H.K. Kumaraswamy said that people of the taluk had been facing this problem for many years. Whenever the people staged protests, the government attempted to pacify the protesters by capturing one or two elephants. But such efforts hardly contributed to resolve the issue.

“The number of incidents is on the rise. The plantation workers are worried about their safety. The planters have lost hopes of good returns from the estates. In the last six years, the state had seen seven forest ministers. But, none of them took the issue seriously,” he said.

The government had assured the planters of taking a delegation to the Centre on this issue. However, the assurance had not been fulfilled so far. “We want the problem to be resolved permanently,” he said.

Deputy Conservator of Forests Dr. K.N. Basavaraj met the protesters and said that the State Government had taken steps to install railway barricades to stop the movement of elephants. “We are taking measures to bring down the incidents of man-elephant conflict”, he said.

Appeal

Women Congress president Pushpa Amarnath, in a press conference in Hassan on Monday, criticised Sakaleshpur MLA H.K. Kumaraswamy alleging that he had been silent over the elephant issue all these years. “He is staging a protest as he has to face election in a year. He has not bothered to raise the issue in the Legislative Assembly,” she said.

She also said the JD(S) party, despite holding all positions in the district for many years, hardly made any effort to find a solution. Later, she also submitted a memorandum to Deputy Commissioner R.Girish appealing for a permanent solution to the problem.


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Printable version | Jul 3, 2022 11:29:48 pm | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/locals-planters-demand-permanent-solution-to-man-animal-conflict-in-sakaleshpur-taluk/article65419729.ece