UDF Demands Plan To End Man-Animal Conflict In Kerala

The government has the responsibility to protect not just wildlife but also human beings.

Representational Photo (PTI Photo).

Thiruvananthapuram: The Congress-led UDF opposition on Thursday demanded a comprehensive programme, involving international experts, to end the increasing incidents of man-animal conflict in forest fringe areas of Kerala and protect the lives and livelihood of people. 

They urged the Left government to increase the compensation amount for those who die or are injured in the wildlife attack and to implement a special insurance scheme for those living in the fringe areas. The government has the responsibility to protect not just wildlife but also human beings. They said while raising the issue during the zero hour demanding a discussion stopping other House proceedings.

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Congress legislator Sunny Joseph, who sought a notice for the motion, said a serious situation was prevailing in many parts of the state as several people had been killed and injured. Crops were damaged widely due to the attack of wild animals which strayed into human settlements.

Leader of opposition in the state Assembly V D Satheesan drew the government’s attention on the need to evolve a comprehensive programme to check the wildlife menace on a time-bound manner without losing any more lives.

“The programme should be formulated in consultation with the global and national experts after taking into account the geographical peculiarities of Kerala. A special wing should be formed under the Chief Conservator of Forest for this purpose,” he said.

However, Forest Minister A K Saseendran admitted the absence of a scientific programme to end the man-animal conflicts in human settlements. He said the department was making all efforts to erect solar fencing and trenches in all possible areas to check wild animals entering the human habitats.

Compensation would be given to those farmers who are ready to shift from the forest-fringe settlement areas. He said that over 200 vigilant committees had been set up as part of efforts to regulate the menace and monitor the situation. 

He also said the government could not give permission to kill wild animals indiscriminately.

In view of the reply of the minister, speaker M B Rajesh denied permission to leave for the motion.

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