Mysuru: The wild elephant menace has become common nowadays. Most of the rural areas of the state is witnessing human-elephant conflict now. It is mainly owing to rise in elephant population, and shortage of fodder in forest.
Elephant menace is not just restricted to crop damage, it also claims human lives in many areas. The villagers have been staging protest against menace urging Forest Department to check wild elephant menace.
The Forest Department had dug up elephant proof trench to prevent entry of elephants in to human habitats. But wild elephants managed to cross that trenches by filling soil. The Department erected solar fence beside border of the forest, but this too did not work. Clever elephants putting wooden poles on it, crossed fence. Then came chilli rope fence but this also did not prevent giant-sized animals.
Speaking to NewsKarnataka Virajpete Coffee Grower A. S. Ponnanna said that the Forest Department has failed to ensure access of fodder and water to elephants in the forest, as a result of which the elephants were straying into the human habitat. A vast tract of agricultural crops have been damaged following the elephant attacks. The Forest Department has not been suitably compensating the farmers who suffer losses, he added.
Further, the Forest Department then introduced railway barrier fence. The Department bought old railway tracks and put up fence. But it is too costly and even elephants managed to cross this fence. This costs Rs. 1 to 1.5 Crore per kilometre. Now Forest officials have erected steel wire rope fencing at Veeranahosalli Forest Range under Nagarahole Wildlife Sanctuary. This is first of its kind in State to prevent elephants from entering human habitats.
The pillar weighs 1.5 tonnes and is 13 feet in height. Of the 13 feet, 5 feet will be erected beneath the ground.
District In-Charge Minister S. T. Somashekar on Wednesday June 22 has inspected the ongoing rope fence construction work. Forest officials said that due to shortage of railway tracks the Department is erecting steel rope fence in an experimental basis.