The Hassan district administration has recommended acquisition of private land in parts of Sakleshpur taluk, where the elephant population is more, as a means to expand the forest cover and tackle man-animal conflict. It estimates that about 3,143 acres and two guntas of private land in eight villages can be acquired, and has indicated that a compensation of Rs. 272.78 crore could be paid for the same.
Deputy Commissioner Umesh H. Kusugal has written to the Principal Secretary of Revenue Department in this regard. Parts of Sakleshpur and Alur taluks are prone to elephant menace. Gradual decrease in forest cover is considered to be one of the reasons for man-animal conflict in the area. In the last 10 years, more than 50 people and over 35 elephants have died as a result of this. Last year, the Forest Department relocated 23 elephants as they had strayed into human habitat.
All these efforts began with the Karnataka High Court’s directive in July 2011 to the State government to draw up short and long-term plans to bring down the man-animal conflict in the State.
Following this, the government held several meetings and it was finally decided to acquire private land adjacent to the reserved forest areas so as to increase the area of forest cover.
The Deputy Commissioner held meetings with the residents of villages in August this year and recorded their views.
Residents of Mankanahalli, Arani, Yadakumari, Bajimane Estate, Balehalla, Bettakumari, Boranamane and Yattahalli participated in those meetings. According to the Deputy Commissioner, about 90 per cent of people in these villages have agreed to part with their land.
Hassan district administration plans to acquire about 3,143 acres of land in Sakleshpur taluk
Rapid decrease in the forest cover is said to be the reason for elephant menace