Chhattisgarh minister on tour to tackle man-elephant conflict

Raipur, Nov 17 (IANS) Chhattisgarh, which increasingly faces man-elephant conflict, will now take tips from two southern states on how to handle the menace. Its forest minister is on a week-long tour of Karnataka and Kerala for the purpose.

Chhattisgarh has been facing the problem for over a decade with the recent months seeing a sudden rise in such cases.

Minister Vikram Usendi will visit elephant-dominated forested parts of Karnataka and Kerala along with his two senior officials from Wednesday till Nov 23 to study how the two states have successfully managed to handle man-elephant conflict cases, official sources told IANS.

“The tour assumes much significance as we are facing an increased problem of man-elephant conflict in the entire northern region where wild elephants often sneak into residential areas and kill people, and destroy crops and houses,” a source said.

“The locals are angry with the state government and forest officials. We need to fix the problem at the earliest,” the source added.

The worst-hit districts are Surguja, Jashpur, Koria, Korba and Raigarh where people get millions of rupees in compensation for the loss of human lives and the massive damage caused to houses and crops by wild elephants.

The state government is also willing to work on a proposal by NGO Earth Matters Foundation which suggested setting up “elephant villages” to help keep wild jumbos away from areas inhabited by people.

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