Bengaluru, Nov 9 (PTI) Expressing concern over the increasing human-animal conflict in the state, Karnataka Forest, Ecology and Environment Minister Eshwar Khandre on Thursday instructed forest officials to formulate a plan involving innovative technology to address the problem.
The minister held a meeting with senior officials of the Forest Department in his office at Vikasa Soudha and directed them to rope in experts to prepare a comprehensive plan to prevent wildlife straying into residential areas located close to forests.
He asked them to submit a comprehensive report on the possibility of adoption of globally successful innovative technologies in this regard.
The environment minister said that the government is ready to provide the necessary financial assistance to prevent human-animal conflict by adopting innovative technology and that there is no dearth of funds for this.
Expressing pride in the state being home to 6,395 elephants, which is the highest in the country, the minister, however, noted that forest area does not increase with the rise in jumbo population.
Khandre underlined the need to draw an action plan if the number of wild animals increases in the coming years.
“Elephants are also increasing in those forest regions, where there were no elephants for so many years. The presence of elephants in areas where there is not much forest is a matter of concern. In addition to this, the precious lives of people are being lost due to leopard and tiger attacks,” he said, stressing that all possible measures should be taken to prevent this.
He also said the Deputy Chief Principal Conservator of Forests should visit and inspect the forest area where wild animals are present at least two days in a week.
Khandre suggested that the officers appointed as nodal officers ensure that the wild animals that stray into human settlements return to the wild or are captured.
He noted that in recent times, the cases of wild animals coming from the forest to the village are increasing, and this has worried the people in cities and towns. Therefore, hen asked them to study the good practices adopted in other states to restrict animals from entering residential areas.
As recently as Wednesday, a 29-year-old woman plantation worker was trampled to death by a wild elephant near Hedadalu in Chikkamagaluru district of Karnataka.
Following the incident, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah instructed officials to immediately issue the compensation cheque of Rs 15 lakh to her family, and gave a "clear instruction" to the district administration to immediately take the necessary action to send the elephant back to the forest. PTI AMP GMS GMS ANE