Compensation for victims of man-animal conflict increased to ₹10 lakh: Environment Minister

Delhi, New: Bhupender Yadav, the union minister for the environment, forests, and climate change, said on Thursday that the compensation for people slain in conflicts between humans and animals has been increased to Rs. 10 lahks from the previous amount of Rs. 5 lahks till last year.

Additionally, he disclosed some measures that the Center would undertake to tackle conflicts between humans and animals in the southern area. According to Yadav, the Wildlife Institute of India (WII) would be reorganized as the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History (SACON), Coimbatore, to serve as a hub for assisting states like Karnataka, Kerala, and Tamil Nadu in reducing conflicts between humans and wildlife.

“On wildlife concerns, more coordination, communication, and cooperation are required across the southern states. Meetings for interstate cooperation will be facilitated by the Center. The Union minister said, “The ministry will support frontline staff and other frontline departments in developing their capacity to use modern technology and equipment, modern tracking systems, and early warning systems.”

According to Yadav, the state of Kerala has received Rs. 15.82 million from the Center for different projects during the FY 2023–2024. The Center will consider funding support under the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Management and Planning Authority (CAMPA) and other schemes for site-specific elephant-proof walls and other mitigation measures, based on the demand and annual plan of operations proposed by the state government.

Yadav said, “The Center will help prepare corridor management plans in Kerala, Karnataka, and Tamil Nadu through WII.”

The Ministry of environment, Forest, and Climate Change (MoEFCC) wildlife wing officials, along with the Union minister, are in Wayanad to evaluate the situation in the wake of the death of Ajeesh Joseph Panachiyil on February 10. The man was allegedly trampled to death by an elephant, which led to tensions between the locals and the Kerala forest authorities in the district.

On November 30, 2023, a tuskless male elephant was seized in the Hassan district’s Belur taluk and sent to the Bandipur forest region. It was discovered that it had wandered into Kerala’s Wayanad district after more than two months.

Following Congressman Rahul Gandhi’s February 17 visit to the family, the Karnataka government last week approved a Rs. 15 lakh compensation to the deceased’s family. Gandhi represents the Wayanad seat in the Lok Sabha.

The lives and livelihoods of the inhabitants of Wayanad have suffered greatly as a result of the recent series of animal assaults, particularly those involving elephants. The increasing number of human-animal conflicts has cost them dearly, Gandhi wrote on X on February 10.

According to him, the Congress party has called for action on many occasions to lessen these assaults in Wayanad. But the absence of a thorough plan of action to address this problem has only made the situation worse.

Gandhi urged the federal government and state governments to act swiftly and establish a response system that might save the local fauna as well as our towns.

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