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Human-wildlife conflicts: Environment minister Bhupender Yadav urges Kerala government for prompt responses

Yadav said all southern states need better cooperation, coordination and collaboration on wildlife issues, and the Centre will facilitate inter-state coordination meetings

PTI New Delhi Published 22.02.24, 03:25 PM
Bhupender Yadav

Bhupender Yadav File picture

Union Environment Minister Bhupender Yadav said on Thursday that the Salim Ali Centre for Ornithology and Natural History in Coimbatore will be developed as a centre to support and guide states, such as Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu, in mitigating human-wildlife conflicts.

Yadav, who is in Kerala's Wayanad district to review the state of human-wildlife conflicts in the region, urged the Kerala government for a prompt response in such matters "so that human lives can be saved and wildlife can flourish".

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He said all southern states need better cooperation, coordination and collaboration on wildlife issues, and the Centre will facilitate inter-state coordination meetings.

Yadav informed on X that his ministry will support the capacity building of the frontline staff and other frontline departments for the effective use of early-warning systems, modern technology and tracking systems.

"The Centre has sanctioned Rs 15.82 crore during FY 2023-24 to Kerala. Based on the demand/annual plan of operations proposed by the state government, the Centre will consider funding support under CAMPA and other schemes for site-specific elephant-proof walls and other mitigation measures," he said.

The Centre, through the Wildlife Institute of India, will also assist in preparing corridor management plans in Kerala, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.

During his visit to the region, Yadav also met the families of those killed in human-wildlife conflicts recently and assured them of full support to get their lives back on track.

On Wednesday, the minister accused the Kerala government and local representatives of "ignoring" the escalating human-wildlife conflicts in Wayanad.

"This is rather unfortunate and has led to people losing lives," he said.

Yadav also asked the members of the Bharatiya Janata Party's (BJP) Kerala unit to extend all possible help to the people in the region to ensure harmonious human-wildlife coexistence.

Yadav's visit comes after Congress leader Rahul Gandhi, who represents Wayanad in the Lok Sabha, met the family members of a forest department watcher who was fatally trampled by a wild elephant in the district.

The BJP's Kerala unit has raised concerns about wild animals damaging crops and causing harm to life and property. The party has accused Gandhi of neglecting such occurrences.

On Tuesday, the Congress-led United Democratic Front (UDF) withdrew from an all-party meeting convened by the government in the southern state to tackle the issue.

The meeting was prompted by the deaths of two men in elephant attacks in the last two weeks, leading to growing public frustration over such incidents.

Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by The Telegraph Online staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.

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