‘Ex gratia paid to kin of victimsof jumbo-attacks in Chittoor’
Action plan chalked out to end man-animal conflict: forest dept. official
Divisional Forest Officer (Chittoor West) S. Ravi Shankar announced that an ex-gratia of ₹5 lakh each was provided to the family members of three victims who had died in the attacks of wild elephants in Kuppam and Chittoor ranges in recent months.
Speaking to the media here on Wednesday, the DFO said that Panchayat Raj Minister Peddireddi Ramachandra Reddy had distributed the cheques to the family members of Sonia and Narayanamma of Kuppam range, and Satish Raju. While the two women farmers were trampled to death in their fields by the crop raiding elephants, the third, a driver with the forest department at Chittoor range, was killed by a lone elephant after a forest jeep was attacked.
Adding that the man-animal conflict in the ranges of Chittoor and Punganur has become a concern, Mr. Ravi Shankar said: “The resident elephants of the Koundinya wildlife sanctuary, spread over Kuppam and Palamaner ranges, are generally not aggressive. But, most human casualties have been caused by the stray elephants from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, where the population of wild elephants has been on the rise for sometime now.”
The DFO said that an action plan for putting an end to the man-animal conflict in tri-State junction had to be chalked out scientifically. The forest department has erected fences and dug trenches at all vulnerable areas, he said. “The Koundinya sanctuary is a very small stretch compared to the vast forests of the neighbouring States. The sanctuary is also surrounded by agriculture fields, village tanks and revenue lands. During crop raids and prowl by stray elephants, the exercise to drive the animals back into the thickets is always a very tough job,” Mr Ravi Shankar said.