Killing of wild animals not a long-term solution: Kerala forest minister A
K Saseendran (Thiruvananthapuram)
Times of India
October 8, 2021
As many as 504 wild boars have been shot dead in the last one-and-a-half
months alone, and indiscriminate killing of wild animals is not a solution
to tackle human-animal conflicts and crop damage, forest minister A K
Saseendran said in the assembly on Thursday.
Agreeing to the minister’s views, opposition leader V D Satheesan stressed
the need to formulate a comprehensive plan for sustainable coexistence of
humans and animals. Satheesan said more elephants have been straying into
human settlements and spoiling crops as natural elephant corridors inside
the forests have been blocked by human interventions.
“Taking into consideration the state’s geographical peculiarities, the
government should formulate a comprehensive management plan. A dedicated
division under the chief conservator of forest (CCF) should handle the
subject and a special insurance plan have to be devised for those residing
near forest areas," Satheesan said.
Citing an example of another state where chillies were grown along forest
routes to deter elephants from eating crops, Satheesan said such measures
should also be explored.
Saseendran said the government will allocate more funds for undertaking
activities to reduce humanwildlife conflicts by next year. In as many as 17
areas, the forest and wildlife department is planning to come up with drone
surveillance, so as to provide timely warning to farmers about potential
threats. In addition, the Jana Jagratha Samithi, 246 of which have been
formed, are functioning well. They will be extended to more areas, the
minister said. Steps are being taken to ensure food and water for animals
inside the forest. As many as 723 ponds are being cleaned and rejuvenated,
while 197 new ones are being dug, he said.
He said he has held discussions with MLAs from nine districts where there
are forests sharing boundaries with human settlements and that he has
received as many as 1,600 suggestions. He added that the forest department
will prepare a draft report and will submit the recommendations to the
Earlier, raising the matter seeking a leave for adjournment motion, Sunny
Joseph MLA said incidents of animals attacking humans and crops in
districts having forest cover have been on the rise.