Talavadi farmers seek effective steps to prevent elephants from venturing
out of forest (Coimbatore)
December 5, 2023
Farmers in Talavadi Hills have urged the Forest Department to take
effective steps to prevent wild animals from venturing out of forest and
entering human habitations.
A stakeholders consultation meeting was organised at Hasanur on Monday that
was chaired by K. Sudhakar, Deputy Director of STR and District Forest
Officer, Hasanur Forest Division. Bhavanisagar MLA A. Bannari, officials
from the department of revenue, police, Tangedco, and representatives of
farmers associations were present.
Airing the grievance, Vijay Vincent, executive member of Talavadi Farmers
Association, said the only solution to solve the human-animal conflict was
to prevent elephants and other animals from entering farm lands. He said
that in 2022, an elephant proof trench (EPT) was dug at Malkuthipuram
village and solar-powered fences were erected with contributions from
farmers and the Forest Department.
“It had totally prevented wild animals from venturing out of the forest in
the last one year,” he said and added that if elephants could not come out
of the forest, its food pattern including its carving for maize and
sugarcane would change. He wanted EPTs and solar-powered fences for 50 km
in Talavadi hills so that 90% of the conflicts were prevented.
Recently, an elephant died of electrocution at Ikkalur village and farmers
prevented veterinarians from carrying out an autopsy. The Forest Department
lodged a complaint with Talavadi police who registered a case against 30
farmers for preventing officials from discharging their duties. The farmers
condemned registering the case and wanted it withdrawn.
They wanted mobile towers installed in remote areas, and the Forest
Department carried out a documentation process in claiming compensation for
loss of cattle and human lives in conflict, allow them to collect minor
forest produce, remove bushes on both sides of roads and upgrade Kottadai
Government Middle School into a high school.
Mr. Bannari said steps would be taken to improve basic amenities and
install mobile towers in remote areas. Mr. Sudhakar said the grievances
highlighted by people and farmers would be taken up with higher officials