Rapid response teams (RRTs) of the Forest department will start functioning at Agali, Pudur and Sholayur grama panchayats of Attappady from Saturday.
The Forest department will chalk out a special plan to identify the four rogue elephants spreading damage and fear in Attappady and to drive them back into the inner forests.
The firefighting measures against the increasing incidence of elephant attacks in Attappady were taken at a meeting convened by Minister for Agriculture P. Prasad at Cheerakkadavu Community Hall in Attappady on Friday.
The Minister reached Attappady on Friday in the wake of the killing of a woman by an elephant on Thursday. Malleeswari P., 45, wife of Sivaraman living at E.M.S. Colony, Kavundikkal, was trampled to death by the elephant when she came out of her house around 2 a.m. on Thursday.
The meeting convened by Mr. Prasad decided to chalk out a long-term plan by involving the local people to make available drinking water and fruits such as jackfruit and mangoes for elephants in the forest.
Mr. Prasad said that possibilities would be explored to identify the wild animals even before they enter human habitats. He said discussions would be initiated with the Forest Minster for giving permission for forest officials to use rubber bullets for driving away wild elephants back into the forest.
Local bodies will be involved in effective implementation of fencing to ward off the elephants, he said. The possibility of hanging fences would also be explored, he said.
The Minister said that more tribal watchers would be made use of to ward off wild animals. The Forest department will give laser lights and torches to the RRTs. Local people will be made part of the local vigil committees, and efforts would be taken to expedite the damages to be given to the families of the victims of wild animal attack.
One member of the victim’s family would be given temporary employment, and permanent job would be considered later, the Minister said.
The Minister handed over ₹5 lakh in recompense to the family of Malleeswari, who died in elephant attack at Kavundikkal. He visited Malleeswari’s house and handed over the cash to her husband.